Women and Mental Health
Mental disorders can affect people differently. Some disorders are more common in women such as depression and anxiety. There are also certain types of disorders that are unique to women. For example, some women may experience symptoms of mental disorders at times of hormone change, such as perinatal depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and perimenopause-related depression.
But women may also experience certain mental illnesses differently – certain symptoms may be more common in women than in other people, and the course of the illness can be affected by the sex of the individual. Researchers are only now beginning to tease apart the various biological and psychosocial factors that may impact mental health.
Some symptoms of mental disorders include:
- Persistent sadness or feelings of hopelessness
- Misuse of alcohol and/or drugs
- Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits
- Appetite and/or weight changes
- Decreased energy or fatigue
- Excessive fear or worry
- Seeing or hearing things that are not there
- Extremely high and low moods
- Aches, headaches, or digestive problems without a clear cause
- Social withdrawal
- Suicidal thoughts
Mental disorders can be treated. If you are unsure where to go for help, ask your family doctor or a member of your Care Team. Communicating well with your health care provider can improve your care and help you both make good choices about your health.
Source: The National Institute of Mental Health