Why the huge difference? There can be many different reasons as to why women develop mental health issues more often than men. This is the topic we’ll be discussing on this blog today.
Here are a couple more statistics to take a look at to put the ones above in better perspective:
Let’s get back to the why. First, there are the hormonal reasons which include: puberty, PMS, pregnancy & postpartum depression, peri-menopause & menopause. There are life circumstances and culture. Last but not least, women are more likely than men to speak up about their feelings to their doctors than men.
As all women know, there are mood changes and depression associated with hormones. For a lot of women, those mood changes usually go away within a few days. It’s the lingering mood swings and depression that stays on for two weeks or more no matter how much sleep we get, how much we exercise, or how hard we try to eat well. If after a few weeks, you’re still struggling to get out of bed, shower, or eat; you find yourself snapping at everyone or having outbursts of rage, then it’s time to check in with your doctor. There are also autoimmune diseases that have the same symptoms as depression so it’s best to get answers from a trusted doctor who will run tests. If your doctor is waving off your symptoms, it’s time to find a new doctor.
Life Circumstances & Culture
While women have come a long way from even just 30 years ago, we still have a long way to go. It’s common knowledge that men are still paid more for the same job and treated with more respect in the workplace.
And that statement is not always the case in some companies but more often than not, it’s what it is.
A lot of women who work out of the home are still expected to to handle home responsibilities. Many women are single parenting and working multiple jobs just to make ends meet. Some women are taking care of children, working, and caring for a sick or elderly family member. All of these things put together cause work overload. If you are not practicing a little self-care, this could lead to major mental health issues including depression and anxiety.
Women who were emotionally, physically, or sexually abused as children or adults are more likely to have mental health issues than those who were not.
Certain cultures will not even acknowledge mental illness. Stigma plays a huge role in that. Stigma as defined by the dictionary is: a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person. It is up to us to help and try and end the stigma by being more open about mental health issues and treat it for what it is – an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. Not something that we can snap out of.
Stay tuned for future blogs as we go more in depth on certain types of mental illness, causes, and warning signs.
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If you are thinking about suicide or self-harm, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text the Crisis Text Line, a free text message service available 24/7, at 741-741.