Health, Maternal and Newborn Health, Uncategorized
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Issues Surrounding Women’s Mental Health—The Facts

MentalHealth

Mental health issues have been recognized as a common illness around the world, yet they still remain underdiagnosed. This issue brings to light the need to highlight these problems and to help women treat these disorders.

Being mentally healthy is an essential part of our daily lives. But just how prevalent are women to having mental health disorders?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depressive disorders affect around 41.9% of neuropsychiatric disorders among women compared to 29.3% among men. Some of the most prevalent mental disorders among adults include depression, organic brain syndromes, and dementia, and women are part of the majority. In addition, lifetime prevalence of violence rates among women range from 16% to 50%, and at least 1 in every 5 women have suffered from rape or attempted rape in their lives.

Although more doctors have attempted to identify patients with these disorders, many appear reluctant to seek professional help. In fact, according to the WHO, only 2 out of every 5 people with a mood, anxiety, or substance use disorder sought for assistance in the year of the onset of the disorder. Moreover, gender stereotypes regarding one’s tendency to have emotional problems appear to reinforce social stigma and serve as a barrier to help identify patients with these mental disorders.

While more resources are available to help women with these mental health issues, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), these resources are not sufficient. We invite you to join us in raising awareness of this global crisis. To learn more about these statistics, please visit the Gender and Women’s Mental Health webpage of the WHO.

Cover photo credit: A Health Blog

This entry was posted in: Health, Maternal and Newborn Health, Uncategorized

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Megan is a senior at the University of Virginia majoring in Chemistry. She is an advocate for women & girls and an aspiring physician-scientist aiming to conduct translational and health policy research. In addition to PLOS Blogs, her work has been featured/republished at Girls' Globe, Morning Sign Out, and Phys.org. Follow her on Twitter @msmeganyu.

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