Mental health issues can affect anyone, but are there any issues that women are more likely to face? The answer is – yes. Due to certain biological and socio-cultural factors, some issues are more prominently seen in women.
According to several studies that have been conducted across the world, women are 2 times more likely than men to suffer from depression. It is especially more common in young women who are dealing with the stresses of adult life and being independent. The severity and occurrence of symptoms vary from person to person. There a lot of symptoms experienced by people like irritability, feelings of hopelessness, fatigue, loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies or activities and thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts.
Body Image Issues and Eating Disorders:
In the United States, women account for at least 85 percent of all anorexia and bulimia cases. Due to the societal expectations and media’s portrayal of the “Perfect Body-Type” a lot of times women have difficulty feeling confident and comfortable in their own bodies. Poor body image in turn leads to poor self esteem which affects our daily lives and our social interactions as well.
It is clear that all the gender struggle with anxiety spectrum disorders. But there are some disorders emerging from anxiety where women are in the majority. These issues include panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and specific phobias.
Having a baby is an exciting and joyous experience in one’s life. But the extreme hormonal changes can also cause the mother to have post-partum depression. If the person has a history of mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression, the risk becomes even higher. But feel free to contact and partner if you have any concerns regarding this matter. Being aware and discussing these issues can help a lot in navigating through these life changing times!
Societal Oppressionmental health issues in women:
The feminist movements in India have been active in the past couple of years. But the effects are yet to have a nation-wide reach. In many households women are treated as secondary individuals who only follow the lead of patriarchal authority figure. And in cases where women do want to break the gender stereotypes assigned to them, their ambitions are often ridiculed and criticized. This can cause significant damage to one’s sense of autonomy and self worth. Not having the support of one’s own family members can be harmful to the person’s growth.
Post Traumatic Stress
Although the statistics for India are unknown but in the United States, rape is the leading cause of PTSD and 90 percent of adult victims and 82 percent of juvenile victims are females. Watching the news filled with traumatizing rape cases and harassment incidents is debilitating to many people. It can affect women by making them hyper-vigilant or unreasonable while interacting with people.
Even though these issues are more commonly faced by women, the statistics are still disputed. Many argue that the only reason more women seem to have these issues is because women are more vocal. It is said that women are more likely to approach a mental health professional to navigate through their problems, as they solve problems through verbal dialogue. Men on the other hand are more prone to express their discomfort by channelizing their energy physically, such as through sports.
Keeping these gender differences aside, our aim should be normalizing the talk related to mental health issues and well-being to make the society healthier!