When do mental health issues arise in women?
When do mental health issues arise in women?
Many think that mental health issues are the same in everyone, irrespective of their gender. But that’s totally wrong! The symptoms and effects and the causes of mental health in women are far more different than that of men. The patterns seen in women suffering from psychological disorders are different from men suffering from the same situation. Let us understand how and why these differences are there; why gender discrimination is prevalent here also?
Introduction: People say that women are different from men only in terms of physical composition but it’s not true, is it? A psychological thought process differs in every individual. A woman’s brain is ‘wired’ differently, they have a different way of communication and reacting towards situations than men. Thus, mental health issues too differ in between them. Many psychological theories agree with this while some don’t.
Mental health of women: Mental health is actually a level of our emotional well being, i.e., how emotionally stable a person is. Mental health may include, how well a person adapts to his current situations, the way he reacts to different types of situations and is he positive minded or not. Whereas, mental issue or mental disorder is when a person behaves abnormally which is not deemed to be a part of the society ‘s ‘normal’ culture.
Below are some statistics showing the facts about women’s mental health, According to WHO.
• Depressive disorders account for approx. 41.9% from neuropsychiatric disorders as compared to 29.3% in men.
• Older adult women account for the majority of depression, organic brain syndromes and dementias.
• Lifetime rate of crime and violence against women is from 16% to 25% and increasing day by day.
• Atleast one in three women suffers from rape or harassment in their lifetime
The above statistics are one of the major causes of mental health in women. Due to these, a woman might suffer-
Suicide Studies in the field of suicide have revealed the fact that there are more number of female attempters but more number of male completers of suicide. This means that female tries to do suicide more often due to their messed up mental health but could not find herself to do so. This could be due to any reason. However, if we talk about the situations of women in India in terms of suicide, women have outnumbered men in completed suicides, even though the gap between men and women is narrow.
Majority of female completers of suicide in India constitutes young girls from nuclear families and the reason is believed to be early marriage of them or stress and responsibilities forced on them at the young and delicate age.
In a different study, it was found that women who had baseline CMD’s, CMD, high exposure to violence, and recent hunger and poverty, tends to attempt suicide more. Other major causes of women performing suicide more than men are failure in life according to them, difficulties and complications in interpersonal relationships, dowry problem, and harassment and rape or attempted rape cases.
Violence and Abuse According to an United Nations report of India, around two — third of married women in India found to be victims of domestic violence. Not only the violence, but the workforce of women decreases when a woman gets married in India. The other incidents which can be counted as a part of violence and abuse in India are female feticide, domestic violence, dowry death, child marriage, mental and physical harassment and torture, sexual trafficking, and public humiliation. When a woman is forced to suffer all these, their mental health is expected to get messed up which in turn results to either suicide, or a lifetime of emotional distress, post traumatic stress disorder, or poor reproductive health.
Other symptoms found “common” in women due to abuse are depression, anxiety, nervous breakdown, lack of self confidence, insomnia, and many more!
Poor Reproductive Health Poor mental health can affect a woman’s reproductive health badly. Mood swings and behavioral changes increase, and it is a known fact that high stress can result in abrupt changes in their menstrual cycle. Even a woman might face difficulty in giving birth if she has faced any of the above mentioned things.
Conclusion: A woman’s life is a never ending cycle of problems and vulnerabilities. She is expected to take care of household, finance and every person in the family, all at once. And while trying hard to fulfill everyone’s expectations, she forgets her own mental health. And in spite of that, when one of her close ones or family comes to know about her condition, they ignore it or abandon her or blame her only for her condition, which increases the illness, rather than providing her with the best healthcare and medical services. The mentally ill woman is constantly criticised by society, by her own people. No wonder why being a woman is said to be a curse in a society like this! When a woman is not treated properly during times like these, feelings like guilt, shame, loss, grief, sadness, anger and fear creep up on her and eat her alive.
After reading the whole article, it must be clear to you by now that one should not take a woman’s mental health issue lightly, rather, it should be considered as a social and economic issue. Proper treatment should be made available for women in need rather than saving the hospital beds for someone who might not even have such a serious issue. Also, the focus should not only be the treatment provided as it is secondary, but the “lifestyle” of a woman, which needs to change, as the majority of the proportion of the cause of mental illness depends upon it. It is essential to recognise the atmosphere a woman works in and how it affects her. Society needs to change for this. Every factor is equally important if the country, if the world, wants to provide a better atmosphere for women, be it education, sociocultural events, workplace or healthcare services.
To sum up, it is only valid to say that combined efforts should be put in every field to improve the mental health of women.
Reference link — https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4539863/
by ichhori.com Reference: ichhori.com