Common Mental Health Issues Among Women

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Statistics state that one in three Americans suffer from mental illness, but women have a much higher rate. On average women are 40% more apt to develop depression than the average man. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is extremely common in women, with a 10% chance of this condition being developed by this gender. Hormonal issues and genetic gender differences are really the main culprits for women having higher risks of mental health; some may say that women are simply more emotional than men. While we can blame hormone issues and genetic wiring for women being predisposition to suffering from mental health issues more than men, there are more reasons this health issue affects women more often than men.

Biological factors play a key role in mental illness; women have lower serotonin levels and process this chemical slower than men, which can contribute to mood fluctuations. Never minding the gender differences prewired in women versus men, women are simply more apt to be affect by sociocultural influences and beliefs as they have been more of primary caregivers to children as well as the elderly which can play a key role in added risk of mental illness.  While gender roles have been changed over the years, women still have a large amount of stress placed upon their shoulders and have been shown to handle this very differently than men. Panic attacks and depression have been hugely noted to happen when higher levels of stress are placed upon women.

Another area to think about when discussing why mental health issues tend to affect women more than men is the amount of trauma that happens among women. Half of all women in America have experienced some sort of trauma during their lifetime. When thinking about sexual assault, nearly one in four women have faced a scenario where sexual assault was completed or attempted predominately by their domestic partner. When thinking about mental health illness, PTSD is developed among women more than men due to these scenarios of trauma related incidents.

Overall women are more susceptible to mental health illness due to their emotional make-up and the challenges women face in every day society. Think about it, women are generally the glue that holds the family together, no matter how advanced and blurred gender roles become as each year passes, women still seem to have a high level of pressure placed upon their shoulders, thus providing them with more of a chance to suffer from mental health illness.

What can we do to help deter mental health illness in women?

Start uplifting each other, if the theory holds true that women are more emotionally wired, then lending them a quick hand when you see a woman frustrated with her kids, job or other area in life can only help push them away from that higher risk of mental health illness. Offer support for your women friends, be that shoulder to cry on and the ear to listen, after all venting can help release the negative emotions that fuel mental health illness. Let’s work together to minimize the mental health illnesses that are caused by environmental standards and push forward in being better neighbors for our local women.

Posted by Brandy Tanner   @   13 June 2016 0 comments

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