Men and women are not created equal as can be seen in the kinds of mental health issues most likely to affect women than men. It is common to find some mental health disorders are more prevalent in women than men and science is at the early stage of trying to discern what biological and psychosocial variables are creating these differences in mental health. In fact, mental health research is looking to find what key biological and psychosocial factors help explain mental health and mental illness in both men and women.
Research has shown there are eight mental health disorders which are more common or prevalent in women than men. These are: 1) anxiety disorder, 2) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), 3) bipolar disorder, 4) borderline personality disorder, 5) depression, 6) postpartum depression, 7) eating disorders, and 8) schizophrenia.
Mental Health and Women: Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety Disorder is a mental health diagnosis that is more common in women than men. This diagnosis includes: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD), social phobia and generalized anxiety disorders. An anxiety disorder is defined by Wikipedia as an abnormal and pathological fear and anxiety. There are a variety of anxiety disorders included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV).
Mental Health and Women: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Some symptoms of ADHD in women are: being hypersensitive to noises, touch and smells, having low self-esteem, being over-reactive to criticism, having an inadequate sense of time, being emotionally hyper and quick to get upset, consistently being unable to finish projects started, having a tendency to take on too much, having problems remembering peoples names, talking without thinking, seeming to others to be self-absorbed and having inadequate writing and arithmetic skills. This is just a partial list of symptoms of ADHD in women. if you feel you exhibit some or most of these characteristics, you may want to read further about women and ADHD.
Mental Health and Women: Bi-polar Disorder
Woman who are diagnosed with the mental health diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder have a significant mental illness. Women who are bipolar exhibit severe shifts in moods, energy, and have an ability to function in activities of daily living.
Mental Health and Women: Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
BPD is an extended mental health disorder that manifests as a breakdown in personality function. A woman with a mental health diagnosis of BPD exhibits strong variability in moods. There is usually instability of mood with black and white thinking. BPD is often associated with periods of idealization and devaluation. Chaotic and unstable interpersonal relationships are common. In the most serious cases, BPD can result in dissociation.
Mental Health and Women: Depression
The mental health diagnosis of depression in women has all or many of these characteristics: persistent sadness and anxiety, loss of interest in life and sex, feeling of restlessness and irritability-maybe with uncontrollable crying, loss of energy and increased fatigue, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, suicidal thinking, changes in sleep pattern, changes in appetite and weight, problems with focus and concentration and physical complaints of ailments.
Mental Health and Women: Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression is a mental health condition that is associated with significant change in mental health after the birth of a child. Some characteristics of postpartum depression are: lack of interest and, maybe, negative feelings toward the baby, fear of hurting the baby, loss of pleasure, lowered level of energy and initiative, feeling guilty and worthless, changes in appetite and weight, changes in sleeping patterns and recurrent thoughts about death and suicide.
Mental Health and Women: Eating Disorders
The mental health condition of an eating disorder is more prevalent in women than men. There are three types of eating disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating. Anorexia is a mental health condition that causes women to get seriously thin, but they feel they are too fat so don’t eat. Bulimia nervosa is a mental health condition where women overeat and then vomit or use laxatives to purge the food from their system. Binge-eating is the mental health disorder related to out-of-control eating.
Mental Health and Women: Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a serious mental health disorder and is characterized by hallucinations (hearing and seeing things that aren’t real) and or delusions (believing something is true when it is not), disorganized speech (jumping topics, making up words repeating things and rhyming) and significant changes in behaviors, showing a lack of range of emotions, a loss of interest in goals, a lack of movement or speech and having difficulty holding a coherent conversation.
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