How Mental Health Conditions Impact Women

The rate of mental health disorders is increasing across America. 

Sex and gender diversity play an extensive role in mental health. Though there are organic differences between genders that may impact mental health, there are also societal differences between men and women that can pressure the development of mental health issues. Some disorders are more prevalent in women, such as depression and anxiety. More than 1 in 5 women in the United States experienced a mental health condition in the past year.

There are also types of disorders that are particular to women. Some women may encounter symptoms of mental disorders at times of hormone change, such as perinatal depression, PTSD, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and perimenopause-related depression.

Mental Health Warning Signs in Women

Persistent sadness or feelings of hopelessness

Misuse of alcohol and/or drugs

Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits

Appetite and/or weight changes

Decreased energy or fatigue

Excessive fear or worry

Seeing or hearing things that are not there

Extremely high and low moods

Aches, headaches, or digestive problems without a clear cause


Social withdrawal


Anxiety in Women

Anxiety is the most common mental disorder in women. 

According to the American Psychiatric Association, women are twice as likely as men to experience generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder. Anxiety is defined as feeling worried, anxious, or tense. Those with anxiety usually have recurring thoughts that lead them to avoid certain situations. Anxiety is higher in adolescent girls and women due to pressure, physical and biological changes, and possibly other mental health conditions. Women are under pressure to perform in and out of class or work. Along with hormone fluctuations and body development, women become cautious of themselves. Anxiety can be treated in a few different ways, including medication, therapy, or a combination of the two. Here at Psych4U, we treat women from all walks of life for anxiety.


Women and Eating Disorders

Close to two-thirds of individuals with binge eating disorders are female.

There are four definite eating disorder diagnoses: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS). Eating disorders are not entirely a women’s mental health issue, but they intensely affect women and girls more than men. The ADAA reports that men and boys make up only 5-15% of people with anorexia or bulimia. Eating disorders are mortifying mental illnesses that affect around 20 million American women. Women with eating disorders generally use food and cutting calories as ways of coping with life’s stresses. Granting eating disorders revolve around eating and body weight, they are more about self-control, emotions, and self-expression than they are about food.c


Reproductive-Related Mental Health Issues in Women

Genetics and naturally fluctuating hormones contribute to mental illness.

Due to an inconstancy in hormones, a lot of women experience PMS symptoms during the week before their period. Distinctly, some women who have been diagnosed with depression or anxiety may experience symptoms of PMS that are worse than those who do not have depression or anxiety. In women’s cases who are diagnosed with depression or anxiety, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is more common. Women with PMDD should harmonize with their primary care doctor as well as a mental health specialist to make sure they understand the treatment opportunities that are available to them.


Help for Women with Mental Health Issues

Welcome to Psych4U, psychiatry with you in mind. 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increasing rate of mental health disorders in the United States. With this, the rate of mental illness among women is escalating. If you or a loved one is struggling with their mental health, there are steps to take to ensure their safety and health. At Psych4U, you can consult with a professional about your concerns to create the best treatment plan for you. 


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