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Women experience more mental health issues than men

Post by on Wednesday, November 24, 2021

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 One of the most challenging issues confronting the health-care industry is the fight against mental illness. To start with, significant disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety are frequently difficult to diagnose. The cultural stigma associated with mental health illnesses, however, is likely the most onerous barrier to treatment. Individuals' reluctance to get treatment for mental health illnesses disproportionately impacts women, owing in large part to the fact that women are more sensitive to many prevalent mental health diseases than males.

Although mental illness affects all segments of the global population, health professionals are discovering that treating women with the same problems requires a different methodology than treating men with the same disorders.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), while the prevalence of schizophrenia and bipolar illness is the same for men and women, the symptoms women experience frequently differ from those found in males.

On top of being too embarrassed to seek assistance for a mental disease, most women are unaware that their symptoms are the result of an illness that may be treated. Education is a significant step in improving the identification and treatment of mental health disorders in women:  giving information on the prevalence of mental illness, the harmful consequences it has on women and families, and the numerous services available to assist them in getting the care they require to recover.

It has been demonstrated that biological variables have a role in the development of mental disease in women. Females have lower serotonin levels than males because they absorb the neurotransmitter faster, resulting in mood swings. Women are likewise more vulnerable to hormonal fluctuations than men.

Biological differences could also have a role in the development of some mental health issues.

Women are twice as likely as males to suffer from unipolar disorder. Women are more likely than males to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Eating disorders impact nearly ten times more females than males. Anorexia affects 1.9 percent of women and 0.2 percent of men annually. Young females are particularly prone to eating disorders: bulimia affects between 0.5 and 1% of young females over the course of a year.

Females are influenced by societal forces and values in addition to gender. Women have historically remained subordinate in the family, with all of the primary tasks for raising children and caring for the elderly. Although gender stereotypes in our society have altered, with females taking on more prominent positions and males staying at home to look after the children, women continue to experience tremendous stress. Depression and panic episodes can be brought on by stress.

Moreover, women in our culture have just been sexualized, whether via publications, films, tv programs, or social connections.  This pattern of negative sexual objectification can stifle the proper development of self-esteem and identity. These circumstances can cause despair, worry, tension, and guilt, all of which have a severe impact on women's mental health.

 

Alongside sexual objectification, violence and stigmatised harassment are two more variables that lead to women's mental health difficulties.

Females are much more likely as males to suffer from mental illnesses such as depression, eating disorders, and panic attacks. Females also have distinct challenges than males in terms of how they comprehend symptoms, as well as how treatment strategies are developed.

Some of the most common mental disorders affecting women are as follows:

 

Depression

Twice as probable as males, females to suffer from depression, with 12% of women suffering from it compared to 6% of men. Depression is characterised by feelings of extreme sadness or despair that can be acute (lasting days, weeks, or longer) or chronic (lasting months or years). Common symptoms include a loss of interest in everyday activities, changes in appetite, and a sense of worthlessness. Depressive illnesses that can impair women's mental health include major depression, bipolar disorder, postnatal depression, and major depressive disorder.

  • Depressed females frequently turn to alcohol misuse sometime after their depression has started.
  • In order to cope with depression, women frequently turn to religion and emotional activities.

 

Panic disorders

Panic disorders include general anxiety disorder (GAD), phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and social anxiety. Women are more prone than males to experience GAD and particular phobias. Panic disorders can develop as a result of or in addition to other problems like depression or opioid dependence.

  • General Anxiety Disorder (GAD):  Anxiety episodes can range from a few minutes to many hours and are frequently accompanied by severe sensations of anxiety, tension, or haste and women are two times more prone to it than men.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): PTSD may affect everyone and is brought on by a stressful incident, but females are 2 times more likely to suffer from it. PTSD may have a substantial influence on how women view the world and themselves since they are frequently the victims of sexual or physical violence.

 

Eating disorders

The abovementioned social influences are key contributors to eating disorders. Women's sexual objectification greatly leads to the development of poor self-confidence, negative body image issues, and low self-esteem in women. Weight has always been a scrutinised and elevated aspect of women's life, so it's no wonder that they feel so much pressure to be physically perfect. Whilst eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia nervosa are more prevalent in teenagers, it can happen at any age. Among individuals suffering from eating disorders, women account for 85 percent of bulimia and anorexia cases and roughly 65 percent of binge eating disorder cases.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

This disorder is characterised as a person's extreme worry about a perceived physical imperfection. Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) patients constantly seek confirmation about their looks and find themselves "unattractive" to the point of seeking therapy. Cosmetic surgery to correct any physical flaws might be employed as part of this procedure.

The condition affects both men and women, but social expectations associated with physical attractiveness might make conquering women's mental health more challenging. Because of their fixation with their looks, people with BDD may struggle to perform at work, at home, and in social situations. The most typical physical aspects of concern to BDD patients include acne and other skin concerns, hair all over the body, and the form and size of specific face features.

All females should understand that mental health is equally as essential as physical health. When we acquire a cold or a fever, or if we get wounded, we go to the doctor. Our mind is a component of our body, and when it wants assistance, we must provide it with that assistance as well. Recognizing your feelings and seeking assistance does not make you weak; rather, it makes you strong.

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