March is Women’s Month. As the world celebrates the extraordinary abilities of women in shaping their family and community, it is also time to take a closer look at their mental health.
Women’s mental health is often overlooked and ignored for they need to look after other people’s well-being. With so many responsibilities and chores to do, they have no time to tend to their needs and this includes their mental state.
What factors affect women’s mental health?
Every day, women face different challenges that gauge their strength and perseverance. Whether it is about their family, relationships, friendships, work or health, they need to vehemently conquer any trials and adversities in life.
Society and life experiences contribute to the state of women’s mental health. Whatever their roles and status in society, they will experience low and unpleasant moments that strengthen or scar them.
Poverty greatly affects women’s mental health especially when they reach adulthood. All women want to have a good and comfortable life. Some even resort to indecent jobs just to make ends meet for themselves and their family. Others juggle two or more jobs in order to pay rent, bills and food.
However, not all women have the opportunity to work. They are forced to stay at home and look after their children or siblings and do household chores. They often feel excluded from the rest of the world because they are not contributing something important.
Women are often victims of discrimination. Generally, they are perceived as the weaker sex. They are too emotional and too sensitive so they are not trusted to make big decisions or handle demanding tasks.
Women rarely enjoy the same opportunities as men. There are still people who frown upon women who choose to work rather than just stay at home. They need to work harder than others to prove that they deserve a promotion, salary increase or just recognition.
Violence and abuse
Many women, up to this day, do not have the courage to say no. They are too scared to offend or disappoint their partners or family. They accept harsh words and painful blows without a peep. Based on reports, one in every five women are victims of rape or attempted rape.
Domestic or sexual abuse takes a great toll on women’s mental health. It leads to depression, anxiety and other behavioral disorders.
Not being able to earn a living for their family significantly contributes to the state of women’s mental health condition. Sometimes, because women are discriminated against or bullied, finding a job that suits them is daunting and difficult. They just make the best of a bad job to feel security.
There is a big shift in gender roles now but there are still a number of people who refuse to acknowledge that women can earn a living. It is okay that they work as hard as anyone else and get paid for it.
Infertility and perinatal loss
One of the most complicated roles of women is motherhood. Women are expected to bear children. Plus, they must be really good at rearing because their abilities and integrity as a woman is measured by it. This has caused stress and depression for many who are struggling with infertility.
Women’s health is always at risk during pregnancy and when they are unable to carry their babies to full term, they are blamed and looked down upon. This is a sad reality yet women willingly endure all.
What are the common mental health conditions among women?
Generally, it is society that sets standards on what women can and cannot do. It is society that dictates how women say and think. Even if many women now are enjoying the same benefits and opportunities as men, they still carry the burden of what society expects and demands from them.
Women are twice more likely to suffer from depression than men. With so many responsibilities and chores, women tend to break down and question their sanity. They need to balance family and career while being the best daughter and friend.
Women are always labeled as too emotional and when they feel depressed and stressed out, others see it as a hormonal problem or just being plain dramatic.
General anxiety disorder is defined as “excessive worry”. This becomes a problem when the person has been like this for six months or longer. Others see it as a normal behavior for women especially for mothers because they constantly think about their children’s welfare and safety.
In the country, 23.4% of women experience anxiety disorder. This condition includes panic disorder and specific phobias.
There is a high standard set by society for women on their looks. Though strong advocacies on body shaming are gaining more and more support, there is still a significant portion in the population who requires women to look beautiful and thin.
Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia become the gateway for some to achieve the body they want and to receive praises from other people. The longing to always look thin dominates over having a healthy body. No wonder 20 million women in the United States will eventually develop eating disorders.
No one can rival the connection, bond and affection a mother has for her children. Mothers are willing to sacrifice and give anything just to protect and safeguard them. Motherhood can be overwhelming and exhausting and sometimes women doubt their capability to be a good one.
With so much going on in a woman’s body, her hormones and fears, it is understandable why she is susceptible to depression and anxiety after giving birth.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Traumas like death, disaster, violence and any forms of abuse create a lasting impression that triggers fear and unpleasant memories. This disorder impairs a woman to live life to the fullest.
Since women are often the victims of assault and violence, they are more at risk in having PTSD. It is highly advised that they seek help from a psychologist and therapist near me to discuss their feelings and thoughts about their bad experiences.
Where to get help?
Society upholds women and it also feels sorry for them. They are celebrated when they raise successful and well-mannered children yet scorned and criticized when they bear troublemakers. Women will always be judged and scrutinized whatever choices they make even if it is for their own good.
Seeing a psychologist or therapist near me is still revolting, especially for women. Not everyone understands that having a successful career or a wonderful family does not equate happiness and contentment.
Mindshift Psychological Services salutes women from all walks of life – from simple housewives to fearless CEOs. Thus, their mental health should never be in the back seat. Their choice to see a psychologist and therapist near me must be supported by the people around them so that they can assume the roles they are meant to be.
If you plan to schedule a therapy near me or counseling session, you can directly contact them at (714) 584-9700.