Brain and Behavior Journal recently published a research paper about anxiety in the adult population which looked at about a thousand other anxiety studies. They defined anxiety disorder as “excess worry, hyperarousal, and fear that is counterproductive and debilitating.” Some of the findings include:

  • In America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorder, costing the United States $42 billion a year.
  • Less attention research, and funding has been devoted to anxiety compared with depression.
  • Four out of every 100 people experience anxiety around the world.
  • There is a growing link between anxiety disorder and opioid addiction.
  • Untreated anxiety has been associated with significant personal and societal costs such as frequent primary and acute care visits, decreased work productivity, unemployment, and impaired social relationships.
  • Globally, women and young adults (under 35) are suffering the most with women almost twice as likely as men to experience anxiety.
  • Suggested reasons for the gender gap include pregnancy, differences in brain chemistry and hormonal fluctuations, or how men and women tend to cope with stress differently.

Here are some further reasons why I think women have twice as much anxiety than men:

  • More and more women are working outside the home AND managing the home and the kids (constant multi-tasking), whereas men tend to have a much more singular focus on their work.
  • Media and social media pressure upon women to live up to unattainable standards of appearance.
  • Lack of community and generational family support for young mothers.
  • The Paradox of Choice.
  • Women have more relationships than men, get more involved in friends’ lives,  and feel more empathy with people.
  • The increase in single motherhood.
  • More married women bearing the burden of being the primary provider for the family.
  • The hook-up culture which seems to psychologically impact women more than men. See What the Hook-up Culture Done to Women
  • Women admit to anxiety more than men do.
  • Perhaps most of all: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children” (Gen. 3:16). There’s something about the whole child-bearing, child-rearing process that multiplies anxiety for women.

Some of the books I recommend for dealing with anxiety are below (use the latter two with discretion). These are followed by links to about sixty online articles I’ve collected over the years on this subject.

Book Recommendations

Anxious: Choosing Faith in a World of Worry by Amy Simpson.

Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest by Edward T. Welch

God’s Attributes: Rest for Life’s Struggles by Brad Hambrick

Anxiety: Anatomy and Cure by Robert W. Kellemen

Living without Worry by Tim Lane.

Anxious for Nothing: God’s Cure for the Cares of Your Soul by John Macarthur. This book addresses anxiety which has purely spiritual causes and are looking for purely spiritual solutions.

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Dr. Edmund J. Bourne

When Panic Attacks: The New, Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life by Dr. David D. Burns

Article Links

How the Lord Restored Me from Intense Anxiety | Desiring God

Is Worry Making Us Sick? | TIM LANE

A Psychologist Faces Her Own Anxiety | Her.meneutics |

The Upward Call | The Gift of Anxiety

Use Anxiety to Your Advantage | Desiring God

6 Reasons Why Anxiety, Worry, & Fear are Particular Problems for Christians | Ron Edmondson

The Christian Cure for Worry | Gentle Reformation

Instead of Worrying | Tim Witmer

Surprising Facts About Anxiety Disorders – 7 Ways to Cope (Video and Infographic)

Overcoming Depression-Anxiety: A Personal Responsibility Paradigm | Brad Hambrick

My Favorite Posts on Anxiety | Brad Hambrick

Three Tricks for Dealing with Anxiety In the Moment

Words for the Anxious Soul | Mere Orthodoxy | Christianity, Politics, and Culture

What Anxiety Does to Your Brain and What You Can Do About It

A Gameplan for Combating Worry | Justin Taylor

The Five Minute Antidote for Anxiety | Musings of a Christian Psychologist

Scriptures to Fight Anxiety | Counseling One Another

Fighting Anxiety | Biblical Counseling Coalition Blogs

A Game Plan for When You Start to Worry | Justin Taylor

How to Overcome Your Worst Fears

How Regular Exercise Can Calm Anxiety

Getting Healthy: What I Was Doing Wrong

The Anatomy of Anxiety | RPM Ministries

A Letter to the Anxious Christian | Gentle Reformation

Why Three Seminars on Depression-Anxiety? | Brad Hambrick

A Good Word from My Wife |

Anxiety and Depression, My Strange Friends | TGC | The Gospel Coalition

What My Anxiety Taught Me About God | RELEVANT Magazine

An Update on Fear | CCEF

Surviving Anxiety – Scott Stossel – The Atlantic

I Suffer From Panic Attacks, But Won’t Let Them Destroy My Life Or Work | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

The secret behind the Bible’s most highlighted verse

Clare De Graaf – The 10 Second Rule – Christian Book Author – Anxiety – is it a sin?

A scientific look at the purpose and effects of anxiety – 22 Words

When New Moms Can’t Stop Worrying | Her.meneutics |

Out of the Ordinary: Anxiety and the Battle for the Mind

More Thoughts on Anxiety | Counseling One Another

Embracing The Thorn That Bleeds You Dry

The Anxiety-Killing Power of Creation

Abys(s)mal Thinking and Christ « Grace Looking Back

Helping The Anxious |

RESOURCES: Anxiety, Fear, Panic | Counseling One Another

Her.meneutics: How God Can Use Your Anxiety for Good

Managing Anxiety and Making Friends | Her.meneutics |

Eight Reasons Why My Anxiety Is Pointless and Foolish – Justin Taylor

Some Thoughts on the Sin of Anxiety | Counseling One Another – The Anxious Generation – Saturday, December 17, 2011

What Good Is “Don’t Worry” in Times Like These? Part 4 | CCEF

How a flash of light to the brain can banish fear | Mail Online

Experiencing the Trinity —

  • Kim Shay

    I think the books by Welch and Kelleman among the most helpfu. Honestly, I found John MacArthur’s book very DIScouraging, and when people ask for recommendations, I don’t choose that. I felt it lacked sympathy and understanding as compared to Welch and Kelleman who are very honest about their own struggles. Another excellent book is Tim Lane’s book Living Without Worry.

    • David Murray

      Thanks Kim. I share your hesitation about Macarthur’s book, so I’ll add a qualifier. I’ll add the Tim Lane book.

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  • Daniel S.

    I am about to preach on Philippians 4.6–7 in a couple of weeks. This article (with all the resources) will be extremely helpful in preparation. Thank you.

    • David Murray

      Great to hear from you Daniel. I hope all is going well for you. We miss you all.