Mental health is a state of wellness where one is able to recognize their potential, cope with everyday stresses of life, work fruitfully and productively, and are able to contribute to their community.
Mental health is a combination of one’s psychological, emotional and social wellness. It affects how you feel, think and behave. It determines how you manage stress, makes choices and relate to other people.
Many factors lead to mental health issues and which includes:
- Biological factors example genetics and brain chemistry.
- Life experiences such as abuse or trauma.
- A family history where several family members suffer from mental health issues.
Studies have shown that women are more prone to mental health issues than men. The following mental illnesses strike women more significantly than men. They are however treatable and so if you find yourself exhibiting any of the symptoms describes, consult a mental health professional without delay.
About 15% of women will suffer from depression at one point in life. This is double the number of men who suffer from depression. Experts believe that this could partly be attributed to the major biological changes women experience throughout life. Hormonal flux specifically has been known to affect a woman’s mental state. Hormones play a key role in women especially during childbirth and can result in mental illnesses such as postpartum depression.
From the time a woman starts experiencing puberty to age 50, women are more likely to suffer from anxiety disorder. Biology is partly to blame for this and researchers are looking into the effects of estradiol a hormone found in women and how it relates to anxiety disorders. The other factor is how women respond to the cultural and social stressors. While men are good at externalizing their emotions, most women tend to internalize them. This makes it difficult for them to let go and move on. Finding healthy ways to deal with problems and investing in mental wellness is key for women and it helps keep these disorders at bay.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is actually a kind of anxiety disorder. It is usually experienced as a result of a traumatic experience and very common among war veterans. Studies have however show that women are twice as likely to suffer from the disorder as opposed to their male counterparts. This is partly due to the fact that women have a higher exposure to traumatic experiences such assault and sexual abuse. Unlike men, women tend to blame themselves when they go through such traumatic experiences. This further increases the risk of PTSD among them.
Although men too suffer from eating disorders, women make up the highest percentage of sufferers. The pressure to have perfect svelt bodies has driven many women to this mental illness. Unfortunately, most cultural standards are focused towards a woman’s appearance and the need to fit in pushes many towards eating disorders.
There is no shame in suffering from a mental illness and there is readily available help for everyone who needs it. Investing in your mental health is key because it influences how you handle all other aspects of your life.