WOMEN’S MENTAL HEALTH

Women’s mental health is a subject that has, in recent years, received an increasing amount of attention. As an important aspect of overall health, it is important to address all areas of health as women. The reason for increased focus on women’s mental health is simple and concerning, as one in five women experiences some type of mental health issue in the U.S each year. According to studies, there are certain disorders that are more commonly found in women than in men, particularly depression and anxiety. There are actually even specific types of depression and anxiety that only women experience – especially at certain points in their hormonal changes. Among them are perinatal depression, perimenopause-related depression and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. We want women to know that treatment is possible if they are properly diagnosed.

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It’s a Woman Thing

A number of common mental disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are usually found relatively equally in men and women, but studies of women’s mental health show that these conditions affect women in different ways than men experience them. For instance, there are some symptoms more commonly associated with women; and the sex of the individual can sometimes determine the courses taken by the illnesses and their degree of severity.

Mental Health Symptoms

Despite the fact that both women and men often develop the very same mental illnesses, studies targeted toward women’s mental health show that they experience different symptoms. Common symptoms in women include:

  • Abuse of drugs
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Changes in appetite and/or weight
  • Crying spells
  • Decreased energy
  • Delusions
  • Dramatic changes in eating habits
  • Excessive anxiety or worry
  • Extreme anger or hostility
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Inability to cope
  • Abuse of drugs
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Changes in appetite and/or weight
  • Crying spells
  • Decreased energy
  • Delusions
  • Dramatic changes in eating habits
  • Excessive anxiety or worry
  • Extreme anger or hostility
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Inability to cope
  • Irritability
  • Lack of motivation
  • Obsessive thought patterns
  • Persistent feelings of sadness
  • Persistent sense of hopelessness
  • Shifts in sleeping habits
  • Social withdrawal
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Unexplainable aches, headaches, or digestive issues
  • Violent behavior
  • Irritability
  • Lack of motivation
  • Obsessive thought patterns
  • Persistent feelings of sadness
  • Persistent sense of hopelessness
  • Shifts in sleeping habits
  • Social withdrawal
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Unexplainable aches, headaches, or digestive issues
  • Violent behavior

What’s in Your Head 

In the past, women’s mental health has often been given less serious consideration or concern than it should, as it was generally believed a simple matter of being one of the signs of “the change” or symptomatic of being “overly sensitive” or “hormonal.” But mental health is never something to undervalue or overlook, if the symptoms are there; and doing so can ultimately prove detrimental. It’s important, then, that any woman experiencing a change in thoughts, behaviors or moods that interfere with their work or relationships for longer than a period of two weeks seek out professional care. Getting help is crucial, and it’s never something to be ashamed of.

Thinking Through Treatment Options 

Treatment for women’s mental health conditions depends on the specific type of condition and its severity. A physician or therapist might possibly prescribe medications or refer you for therapy. Some cases might even require both types of treatment. In rare cases when the woman’s life is in danger because of her mental disorder, such as following a suicide attempt, inpatient treatment at a hospital or other facility will naturally be considered a necessary course of action.

Even for those with a health condition that seems hopeless, there is a possibility of successful treatment. Medication, therapy and other types of support are often very effective, but it’s important to remember that different types of support and treatments work differently for everyone. Trying various approaches before finding effective treatment isn’t unusual, so always be open and honest about your progress with your treatment provider.

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Mindful Care

At ProHealth, we know that mental health is a topic that many women avoid. But women’s mental health conditions should never be dismissed so that they go untreated, and we encourage that anyone showing symptoms seek out care. Both of our walk-in clinics have convenient hours, and our team will gladly see if you need prescription refills for your treatment medications. As a team of local healthcare experts with deep community ties, we’re passionate about serving the needs of the individuals within that community; and we strive daily to make our range of care affordable, convenient and simple for everyone.

Contact your local ProHealth facility to learn more about women’s mental health and the range of healthcare services we offer today!