During Women’s History Month, it’s critical to remember the specific mental health issues that women face along with the strides taken to address them. Like men, women struggle with depression, anxiety, addiction, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. But unlike men, they have different risk factors and experiences overcoming mental health problems. Delving into each of the sectors of mental health as it applies to females will help improve treatments, raise awareness, and bring knowledge to health professionals and institutions.
Mental Health Challenges for Women
About 1 in 5 women have anxiety, depression, or another common mental health problem. While men also struggle with anxiety and depression, they are more likely to be diagnosed with addiction or antisocial disorder. Women are also likelier than men to have mental health problems, particularly when it comes to younger females. On the other hand, men are less likely to ask for help for a mental health condition, so these findings may be somewhat skewed.
Common mental health risk factors for women include infertility, perinatal loss, violence, isolation, poverty, and unequal economic conditions. Unemployment and discrimination are also risk factors for a mental health condition. Women also struggle with more anxiety due to societal expectations regarding motherhood and careers. Juggling family and work can be challenging, particularly when many women still take responsibility for more housework, even if they make more money than their partners.
Females are also more likely to avoid confrontation, which can create stress and depression. Due to unfair stereotypes and/or low self-esteem, women may feel unable to express how they feel when they are upset. Keeping hurt feelings or opinions inside can lead to depression, anger, and frustration.
It is hard to know how much of women’s mental health problems are created by society and how much is environmental and/or biochemical. Experts believe the unique experiences that women face cannot be reduced to one single cause. Each woman is unique and the mental health problems she faces are specific to her.
In summary, here are some of the main facts to know about women’s mental health in America:
· 53% of women who have mental health issues have suffered through abuse
· ¾ of a female who suffered from sexual or physical violence have gone through life-threatening trauma and 16% have PTSD
· 29% of women living in poverty are dealing with a mental health problem, as opposed to 16% of women who are not living in poverty
· Minority females are more likely to deal with a mental health problem than white females
· Young females are in the highest risk group for a mental health condition
· 72% of those in suicide counseling are young females
Support Groups in California
There are a wide variety of support groups dedicated to women who are struggling with a mental health problem. Here are just a few of them.
· Straight Talk Counseling – Offers resources, teletherapy, addiction services, and more for women in crisis. Call 714-828-2000.
· Mental Health Center – A full-service program for women with low incomes or who are underinsured. Offers group psychotherapy and counseling. Call 949-764-6542.
· Hoag’s Postpartum Adjustment Support Group – Free ongoing support group to help women develop coping skills to deal with postpartum stresses and depression. Call 949-764-2229.
· Teen Brain – Psychological testing and evaluation center for children and teens with mental health conditions. A group of experts diagnoses an individual based on scientific findings. Call 949-764-8333.
· Orange County Mental Health Foundation – Offers a variety of resources pertaining to mental health, substance abuse, rehabs, post-partum depression, and more. Call 855-625-4657.
· Postpartum Support International – Organizations around the world that offer referrals for therapy and more. Call 949-246-5062