What are the common mental health issues in women?
Women embark on their journey with several challenges ahead whether it is psychological, biological, social stressors, emotional, or self-identity. Mental health and Empowerment are two essential things for women to lead a happy and satisfactory life. Women are susceptible to specific mental health risks but seeking help becomes too stigmatized for them. Evidence suggests that women are likely to face more mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorders in different phases of life almost two times than men.
When a girl reaches to their puberty, there are many hormonal changes that can lead to mental health concerns like irritability, anxiety, depression, eating disorders. Many times they go through an identity crisis, they are also trying to figure out their sexual orientation which can lead to a lot of confusion and further mental health disorders.
As young adults, women are expected to be get married and settle in their life. This requires a lot of adjustment and compromise with their self and goals in terms of career, social life, personal life. The pressure of becoming a perfect daughter-in-law, a perfect mother, perfect wife, ideal home maker, being independent can take a toll on women’s physical and mental health. They are often compared with other females in society which further affects their morale. Many times they do not have a go-to person with whom she can vent out all her worries. She strives to become a role model for society as per “societal norms”
Further in life, she is constantly worried about her child, their education, health, growth, and social status. In our society, many women sacrifice their own dreams, their health, their wellbeing for their family.
Let us understand common mental health concerns in Women:
- Depression- Depression is the most common mental health concern in women. One in five women goes through depression in their lifetime. Depression is a constant feeling of low mood and sadness that doesn’t go away. It can be due to multiple reasons, bio-logical causes such as menopause, teenage, vitamin D deficiency, pre-natal and post-natal stage, social causes such as discrimination at work or in the family, loss of loved ones, complications in relationships, identity crises.
- Anxiety- Second most common mental health concern in women is anxiety. Women experience a considerably higher prevalence of anxiety disorder than men. It can be Phobias or panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, etc. Anxiety disorder is being defined as apprehension or fear in response to the perceived threat. It worsens due to hormonal changes when they enter into puberty or during pre-natal or post-natal stages, and menopause.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder- Another common mental health concern in women is Post-traumatic stress disorder, (PTSD). Women experience PTSD after she is exposed to a traumatic event, or she has witnessed it. Symptoms for PTSD are nightmares, flashbacks, low mood, and unstoppable thoughts about the event that has occurred.
How to identify if a woman is going through mental health concerns?
There are various signs and symptoms that can tell us if someone is going through mental health concerns.
- Feeling low or persistent sadness that interferes with daily life for more than two weeks, then it can be a mental health concern
- If a woman is having extreme mood swings such as sadness, anger, an elated mood that causes a huge change in behaviour and energy can be a red flag.
- Excessive worry and anxiety that can affect your normal functioning.
- Loss of concentration and memory in performing daily activities losing pleasure in activities.
- Consistent problem in relaxing oneself, have racing thoughts, unexplained aches and pains, insomnia, and drastic changes in food habits.
- Withdrawing oneself or isolating from others and social situations
- Having major difficulty in dealing with normal life situations. One feels nothing to be right. Everything seems to be overwhelming. If this continues for two weeks to two months, then it can be a sign of anxiety or depression
- Self-medicate oneself by abusing Substances such as drugs, alcohol, smoking, other inhalants, etc.
- Thoughts of self-harm and suicide due to multiple reasons such as abuse or neglect at home, major loss, trauma, or catastrophe that you can’t control or avoid.
If you are going through any of the mentioned symptoms, then you are not
There are thousands of women going through the same feeling. It is important that you take the right step for yourself and connect with mental health professionals for counselling. Mental health Counselling professionals will help you to understand your problem better and overcome it with different techniques and approaches.
To have a sound mental health practice:
- Valuing self and treating oneself with respect and kindness
- Pay attention on your appetite and sleep
- Socialise regularly
- Be compassionate towards yourself
- Learn different strategies to deal with stress
- Exercise, yoga, meditate
- Set realistic goals for yourself and plan on how will you achieve it.
- Break the monotony and add hobby in your daily schedule
- Avoid self-medicating yourself
- Seek help from a mental health professional . Having professional support at a right time is a sign of strength that will further help you to recover soon and can get back to a normal life.
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