Teacher. Mother. Colleague. Caregiver. Chef…The last two years have created unique challenges and stressors for women as many were faced with fulfilling multiple roles. According to studies, women are twenty to forty percent more likely than men to suffer from mental illness. Women are more vulnerable to poor mental health due to social and economic circumstances than men. Women often face distinct obstacles when it comes to mental health. A woman’s body changes throughout her life and puberty, pregnancy and childbirth, and menopause all challenge women to adjust to new bodies and new ways of interacting with the world. This Women’s Day let us understand the mental health concerns in women and how we can overcome them.
Common mental health issues in women
Around one in every five women suffers from a common mental health issue like sadness or anxiety. Many women find it hard to express their feelings and tend to internalise them. Depression, eating disorders, and self-harm can all result from this. Here are some of the most prevalent health issues that women face:
- Perinatal depression
Having a baby is a life-changing event. For some women it can trigger post-partum depression (after the birth) and/or antenatal depression (during pregnancy). Perinatal depression isn’t a sign of weakness. Take help from family and friends, seek therapy from a medical expert to help manage yours symptoms.
While every woman’s menopausal experience is unique, many women have symptoms in addition to their periods ceasing. Changes in your mental health, such as mood swings, anxiety, and feeling down, are examples.
Statistics suggest that around 20% of all women may experience some form of sexual harassment or attempt of the same at some point in their lifetime. This may increase the risk of developing a mental health issue such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Eating disorders
Data suggests that at least 85 percent of anorexia and bulimia cases and 65 percent of binge-eating disorder cases are faced by women. Women’s weight has always been examined and pedestalized, making them feel pressurized about a perfect body image and thus hampering their mental health.
When to seek professional help?
If you’re disconnected from people, have a negative self-image, or aren’t physically caring for yourself, it’s time to get professional help. If you’re suffering from feelings of hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, or an addiction to legal or illicit substances, a medical professional can guide you down the right path to wellness.
Mental health statistics in India
According to statistics, at least 25% of women suffer from depression and anxiety, but they seldom seek help from psychiatrists due to social stigma and a lack of family support. Women tend to overlook and repress their health issues. Domestic violence affects almost two-thirds of married women in India. Postpartum depression commonly seen in new mothers, affects about 50-80% of them. Awareness, training and medical interventions are important to address women’s mental health.
Ways to improve mental health in women
Being joyful all of the time isn’t always a sign of good mental health. Women who have good mental health can experience joy and sorrow, rage and enthusiasm in appropriate ways. Here are a few simple ways to keep your mental health in good shape:
- Take care of yourself.
- Exercise regularly.
- Practice mindfulness & meditation.
- Get eight hours of sleep each night.
- Work and contribute productively.
- Ask for help when needed.
- Express gratitude .
- Say positive things about yourself and others.
- Make new friends and connections.
- Participate in activities you enjoy.
Mental health care at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital
A variety of factors can affect a woman’s mental function and health. These causes might range from simple things like lack of sleep or hunger to more severe issues like eating disorders and major depression. Seek treatment and support if you’re worried about your mental health or believe someone you care about is suffering from mental illness. Our Department of Psychiatry employs highly qualified experts to help support you at every stage of life. Please find below our website details: