Approximately one out of five women in the United States are affected by a mental health disorder such as an eating disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, or depression. And women are more commonly diagnosed with a mental health disorder than men. In fact, women are twice as likely to suffer from depression, PTSD, and anxiety than men. However, there are some mental disorders that affect the males more than the females, which include substance abuse and addiction, impulse control disorders, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Women Earn Less Money
One of the reasons that experts believe women are more at risk to mental illness is poverty. The poverty rate for women is 14% while the rate for men is only 10%. And poverty is not only a risk factor for mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, but it is also the reason why they continue to suffer with these illnesses. The lack of money means the lack of mental health care.
Taking Care of Others
Another reason that may be causing women to suffer from mental disorders is because women tend to put others before them. Taking care of the kids, the husband, and the household pets as well as keeping house and even working in most cases. When you are so busy taking care of everyone else, you have little to no time to worry about yourself. And most caregivers are women. In fact, approximately 65% of caregivers are women.
Victims of Violence and Abuse
One in every three women across the globe have been affected by some kind of abuse while only one in 10 men are victimized. Abusive situations such as physical, sexual, and emotional abuse are also high-risk factors for mental health disorders like anxiety, PTSD, and depression. While many people think that PTSD is a man’s illness because of the soldier or veteran theory, this is not true at all. Women are 2.5% more likely to have PTSD than men, and although some of them are soldiers or veterans as well, the majority of those women are living with or have experienced some type of abuse.
Signs and Symptoms of Mental Illness
Whether you are a woman or a man, if you are having signs of any type of mental health disorder, it is important that you talk to a professional. Some of the signs of depression include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Prolonged sadness for no obvious reason
- Isolating oneself
- Feeling hopeless or worthless
- Sleeping more than usual but still being exhausted
- Eating more or less than usual
- Weight gain or loss
- Trouble making decisions or concentrating
- Losing interest in activities you usually enjoy
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Some of the signs of anxiety disorder include:
- Worrying about anything or one thing obsessively
- Lack of concentration
- Memory loss
- Agitation or anger for no reason
- Changes in sleep pattern
- Isolating yourself
- Trouble making decisions
- Racing thoughts
- Rapid heartrate
- Changes in appetite
- Headaches and/or aches and pains
- Loss of energy
Talking to someone about your feelings is the first step to feeling better. No matter whether you are having any of the above symptoms, other symptoms, or if you just have questions, talking to a professional mental health care provider can be helpful. You do not even need an appointment if you choose BetterHelp.com. In fact, you don’t even have to leave the house.
This was a guest post.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.