Mental health issues can affect anyone regardless of age, background, or economic standing. However, the type of mental health issues that commonly apply to men versus women is different. Acknowledging women’s mental health as separate from men’s mental health is vital for addressing women’s needs. That begins with an understanding of the most common types of women’s mental health issues. Discover how the dual diagnosis treatment center at The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® can benefit you or a loved one by calling 855.773.0614.
Common Types of Women’s Mental Health Issues
The most common women’s mental health issues are depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and disordered eating. Regarding depression, women are about twice as likely to suffer from depression compared to men. Anxiety disorders are another common women’s mental health issue. While men and women experience obsessive-compulsive disorder and social phobias at similar rates, women are diagnosed with anxiety and panic disorders at double the rate of men.
Women are also more likely to acquire PTSD following traumatic events. This is at least in part influenced by the disproportionate amount of domestic violence and physical and sexual abuse women face in contrast to men. Lastly, eating disorders are overwhelmingly a women-centric mental health issue. More than eighty percent of all anorexia and bulimia diagnoses are related to women. About two-thirds of binge eating disorders occur in women as well.
Differing Symptomology for Women’s Mental Health
Not only are the types of mental health issues women face different from men, but the most prevalent symptoms for women also differ. For instance, depression is one of the most common women’s mental health issues. Many men who suffer from depression report suffering job performance, whereas women note the physical burdens of depression such as fatigue and sleep problems.
How the genders cope with mental issues like depression may differ as well. Women tend to cope through religious or emotional outlets, while male coping mechanisms often center around hobbies or sports. The differences here also extend into the most significant risk factor of severe depression: suicidal ideation. Men are more likely to commit suicide even though women attempt suicide at higher rates. This is largely down to the methods used as males trend toward more lethal means.
Why Women’s Mental Health Is Different
It may not be hard to accept that women’s mental health is not the same as men’s mental health. However, you may remain curious as to why so many differences exist. Three major influences influence gender differences in the presentation and experience of mental health:
First, female hormones play a role in mood. In fact, women tend to produce less serotonin than men. Serotonin is a vital brain chemical for mood regulation. Its lower levels in women may be a reason for the higher rates of depression and anxiety among women. Next, sociocultural influences play a significant role. Major progress toward gender equality has yet to eliminate power imbalances and status. Body image issues remain prevalent among young girls, and sexual abuse and rape rates remain high. These types of trauma can directly influence mental health.
The last influence is behavioral. While research is inconclusive, the medical field leans toward the belief that women are more likely to report mental health concerns and are more liable to be diagnosed with a mental health disorder than men.
Heal at The Willows at Red Oak Recovery®
The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® is a leading provider of mental health and addiction treatment for women. All programming and services are designed to meet the needs of women. Learn more about our women’s mental health treatment by calling 855.773.0614.