Mental Health Advice From A Psychologist Every Woman Should Follow | Health
If you’re a woman reading this, it’s a reminder to take care of your mental health every day. Prioritizing mental health is important for everyone to promote overall well-being and protect against mental illness. However, mental illnesses affect men and women differently. For example, depression is more than twice as common in young women ages 14 to 25 as it is in men, according to the National Library of Medicine. Not only are women more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety than men, but some illnesses are specific to women, such as prenatal depression, PMDD, and perimenopausal sadness. (Also read: 10 simple tips to manage your mental health)
“According to research, women are twice as likely as men to have panic disorder, generalized anxiety and specific phobias. Following a traumatic event, women are twice as likely as men to develop PTSD .
Overall, women account for at least 85% of anorexia and bulimia cases and 65% of binge eating cases,” Akanksha Pandey, Clinical Psychology Consultant, Fortis Hospitals, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore told HT Digital.
Some of the symptoms of mental health problems common to both men and women are persistent sadness or a feeling of helplessness, alcohol or drug abuse, drastic changes in eating or sleeping habits, fluctuations in appetite or weight, tiredness or lack of energy, excessive anxiety or fear, hallucinations, extreme emotions, pain, headaches or stomach problems for no obvious reason, irritability, withdrawal from social situations and ideas suicidal. (Also read: Cooling off in the summer heat? Here are some tips for staying calm)
Causes of Mental Health Problems in Women
Hormonal changes in women can impact their mood and increase their likelihood of depression.
“Women produce less serotonin and synthesize it at a slower rate than men, which explains higher rates of depression. A woman’s genetic makeup is also thought to play a role in the development of neurological diseases. Puberty often makes girls dissatisfied with their bodies, which has been linked to depression,” Pandey says.
The expert adds that estrogen has been shown to have beneficial effects on the brain, including preventing severe symptoms in women with schizophrenia during parts of their menstrual cycles and maintaining the structure of neurons in the brain. brain, helping to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Pandey says social and cultural factors can also increase the risk of depression in women. “Women are still the main caregivers for children, and it is estimated that women provide 80% of all care for older people with chronic conditions, which increases stress levels,” explains the psychologist.
It is also thought that women are more likely than men to report mental health problems and that doctors are more likely to diagnose a woman with depression and treat her with psychotropic drugs.
Tips for Improving Women’s Mental Health
It is important to learn how to deal with life’s ups and downs and to develop coping skills that can prevent minor problems from becoming major ones. Here are some tips from Pandey:
Regular exercise: Endorphins, which are chemicals that help relieve stress and promote calm, are released during aerobic exercise. Regular physical activity also contributes to improving sleep patterns and quality, as well as reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Have a balanced diet: It has been observed that people’s mood improves when they eat healthy foods and their physical health. Sugary foods should be avoided, while alcohol and coffee should be consumed in moderation to avoid fatigue and irritation. Selenium, omega-3 fatty acids, folate, vitamin B12, calcium, iron, and zinc, among other vitamins and minerals, appear to help relieve depressive symptoms.
Look for a joyful career: A woman’s mental health issues are often compounded by her work. A new career can give these women a revitalized sense of motivation while alleviating some of the symptoms of their illness.
Self-care: A lifestyle that can help you manage the symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. In addition to meeting the most basic requirements, self-care encompasses a wide range of activities such as long overdue chores to learn to say no, scheduling time for joyful activities, rewarding yourself for doing your best , giving yourself permission to be yourself and, above all, allowing yourself to make mistakes. It is also essential to understand that taking care of yourself is not selfish.
“Women can be more empowered to return to the fulfilling, enjoyable, and purposeful life they so richly deserve if they have access to accurate, up-to-date information about the most effective strategies for overcoming mental health issues,” the report concludes. psychologist.