Research shows that mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are two - three times more common in women compared to that of men with eating disorders being ten times as common for women than men. Issues surrounding alcohol and substance misuse are also increasing in women. Many of the problems occur in the childbearing period of a woman’s life resulting in signifiant impact upon the family as well as the individual
Women can have unique psychological problems during their life cycle, these can be during puberty, adolescent age, marriage, childbearing, loss, separation, and growing older & aging.
Life has plenty of good and bad aspects. Trauma such as illness, death, loss of job, domestic violence, and sexual abuse or assualt can severely affect you on an emotional level. Events that bring youhappiness such as relationships, work promotions, giving birth, moving home can also induce increased stress. As the role of the women in family and in society life in general is different to that of men, the effect of the problems they face will also be different. Women often end up taking on multiple and different roles, make career choices more complicated, and trying to achieve the right balance between family and work can often be very difficult.
Mental health can also be affected by physical issues such as hormone changes during puberty, menstruation cycles, child birth, menopause and illnesses such as cancer or strokes can lead to depression and anxiety.
A combination of several different factors, genes, hormones, brain chemicals, lifecycle changes, stress and physical problems can cause symptoms. Feeling sad and anxious during periods of stress can be quite normal, but some people have enduring symptoms which make it difficult for them to function. The symptoms can take different forms, anger, excessive worry, substance misuse, eating disorders, severe depression and sometimes suicidal thoughts.
It is important to conduct a full assessment which takes into account gender and other aspects such as the cultural and social in order to be able to identfy the most effective treatment plan. In addition to the psychiatric input treatment can often include general measures for helping emotional wellbeing in women such as sleep hygiene to improve sleep, looking at nutrition in order to ensure the body is getting the needed essentail fuels and exercise levels. Due to the fact that there are many different facors that can contribute to mental health issues in women it is important that an assessment is conducted by someone who can assess the biological aspects as well as the psychological. After the assessment it is not unusual for more than one specialist to become involved in the treatment in order to ensure the most effective recovery possible.