Let’s dive into the world of women’s mental health
Mental health issues among women are like a hidden iceberg; the visible tip only reveals a fraction of the struggles beneath the surface. Many women may appear to have it all, but in reality, are struggling with underlying mental health issues.
Mental health issues can have a profound impact on women’s lives, from their relationships to careers to their overall well-being.
According to Psychiatric Times, about 1 in 4 people develop mental illnesses at some point in their lifetime. Women are impacted at a higher rate than men, with 1 in 5 women experiencing a prevalent mental illness versus only 1 in 8 men.
Furthermore, according to A Nurse’s Guide to Women’s Mental Health, it is estimated that 29% of women are treated for mental health disorders compared to 17% of men (World Health Organization, 2011).
These statistics illustrate that women are more susceptible to mental health disorders than men. The common mental health disorders among women are:
- Depression with a percentage of 12 percent of women compared to 6 percent in men.
- Anxiety and specific phobias: Women are twice as likely as men to have panic disorder, generalized anxiety, and specific phobias.
- Post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD): Women are twice as likely to develop PTSD following a traumatic event.
- Suicide attempts: Men die from suicide at four times the rate of women, but women attempt suicide two or three times more often than men.
- Eating disorders: Women account for at least 85 percent of all anorexia and bulimia cases and 65 percent of binge-eating disorder cases.
With this, it is pertinent to recognize the prevalence of mental health issues among women and raise awareness about the importance of mental health care.
How can mental health in women be combated?
Mental health care should be accessible and affordable for all women, regardless of their financial or social background.
Mental health practitioners should also be educated about women’s unique experiences and needs. For instance, Grace Namubiru, a mental health nursing officer while discussing how she cares for her patients says;
“It could be something as small as providing them with something to eat when they visit the health centre. Such an act of kindness shows them you care.”
In addition, support systems that facilitate follow-up should be available to help women manage and cope with mental health issues.
“It is critical to follow up on patients, counsel them to provide them with the comfort they need in this battle,” Namubiru said.
Furthermore, it is paramount to ensure that these support systems are accessible and tailored to the individual’s needs.
Additionally, continuous education is vital to helping women understand and manage their mental health so they can lead fulfilling lives. This can help them make informed decisions about their own mental health care and provide them with the information they need to take care of their mental health.
Finally, a strategy to combat this is having a supportive environment that fosters open and honest conversations about mental health. This is essential for creating an accepting and understanding society. By normalizing conversations about mental health, we can reduce the stigma associated with it and create an environment in which individuals feel comfortable seeking help.