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5 Mental Health Issues That Are More Common Among Women

Mental health is as important as physical health. In India, people with mental disorders don't usually reach out for help due to the stigma associated with it. This is still worse in case of women. According to a recent study, about 13.7% of the Indians suffer from various psychological disorders out of which 7.5% are women.

The most prevalent mental disorders in women are:

  1. Depression
  2. Anxiety
  3. Post-traumatic stress disorders
  4. Suicidal tendencies
  5. Eating disorders

Though both male and female get affected by mental illness, women are 40% more vulnerable than men.

1. Depression

photo courtesy: MailTribune
12% of the women and 6% of the men suffer from depression. This is because of biological factors, socio-cultural influences, domestic abuse, sexual harassment and rape.

Many people believe that mental health is independent of gender which so not true. Gender plays a crucial role in mental health, for instance, women produce less serotonin (a feel-good Hormone) than men do. Also, the harmonious fluctuations and imbalances due to the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause contribute to depression.

2. Anxiety

photo courtesy: medicinapositivia
Similar to depression, women are two times more prone to anxiety, panic attacks, certain phobias than men the major difference between men and women is in terms of their manifestation of emotions. Men tend to externalize their emotions while women tend to internalize the emotions.

Symptoms of anxiety:

  • Extreme body sweating
  • Dead palms and legs
  • Restlessness
  • Stuttering and,
  • Dizziness

Anxiety is quite common in working women and can be overcome by practising yoga and certain breathing exercises regularly.

3. Post-traumatic stress disorder

photo courtesy: lucidatreatment
According to Wikipedia,
Post-traumatic stress disorder is defined as a mental disorder that can develop after a person is exposed to a traumatic event, such as sexual assault, warfare, traffic collisions or other threats on a person's life.

As most women are victims of sexual abuse (1 in 5 women), rape and harassment, they are more likely to develop PTSD than men. Also, 82% of the juvenile sexual assault victims are girls owing to their vulnerability to mental sickness.

Symptoms include:

  • Dreams or nightmares related to the event
  • Disturbing thoughts and feelings
  • Listlessness and,
  • Depression

4. Suicidal tendencies

photo courtesy: Twitter
Men have more suicidal tendencies than women, while women attempt suicide 2 or 3 times more frequently than men do. Due to depression and anxiety, women tend to have more suicidal thoughts but men are more impulsive and violent, making their attempt successful.

Following is a list of symptoms to look out for in a person with suicidal thoughts:

  • Drug abuse or addiction
  • Depression
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Alcohol addiction and,
  • Despair

5. Eating disorders

photo courtesy: Shape
Women often in their attempts to have a perfect body shape abstain themselves from eating, leading to a syndrome called 'anorexia nervosa'. Anorexia is characterized by low weight and strong desire to be thin. This causes various problems like osteoporosis, infertility, heart damage and irregular menstrual periods.

To sum up, mental illness is not something to be ashamed of. With the right treatment and medication, one can easily overcome these disorders and lead a peaceful life.

Written by
Indu Mithra Madhuranthakam

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