Middle years


Women of all ages are likely to experience anxiety more than men but between the ages of 35 and 64 more than 20% will have had an anxiety disorder over the past 12 months. The middle years are a long and busy time. Physical changes can range from pregnancy, childbirth to menopause. Relationships can be new, old and new again. Careers can start, be put on hold, start up again. There is a lot to think about and do. It is little wonder anxiety and worry can be high at this time. If you would like to know more about worry and anxiety at this time in your life you have come to the right place.  

Explore the following pages to learn more about anxiety and worry, think about how anxiety affects you and find ways to help with those anxious thoughts and feelings. Below are the definitions for worry, anxiety and anxiety disorders. See if one sounds more like you. If you are unsure if you have anxiety or worry, go to our self-assessment pages to explore your thoughts and feelings further.

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Middle years

Professor Jane Fisher, Jean Hailes Professor of Women’s Health at Monash University and Dr Mandy Deeks, Psychologist, have a conversation about anxiety and worry in midlife.

How anxious do you feel?


Worry is about being concerned about, but not lost in all of the changes, demands and confusion you feel.

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Anxiety is when you sometimes feel the chaos of life, that things are not as they once were and you feel unsure whether to cry, scream or give up if one more thing is added.

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Anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorder is when your sense of how to cope and who you are feels like it has been replaced by constant fear, excessive worry and daily life is hard to do.

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Created on 18/08/2013 | Updated on 24/10/2017
References for this page

Not sure? Use our quick self assessment tool to check.

About Jean Hailes

Jean Hailes is Australia’s leading and most trusted women’s health organisation. We believe in physical and emotional health and wellbeing in all its dimensions for all women in Australia throughout their lives.

We offer a range of free resources and easy to understand information on women’s health and wellbeing. Appointments at our specialist women’s health clinics can be made in person (East Melbourne and Clayton, VIC) or across Australia via our Telehealth consultation service. www.jeanhailes.org.au

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