A woman’s mental health

Article by: Dr Nicoletta Pallotta MD, LCSW-R

One in five Americans struggle with a mental illness, but the rate is much higher in women. Trauma is a common cause, with half of all women experiencing some form of trauma during their lives. Various social factors also put women at risk for poor mental health, however their readiness to talk about their feelings and a strong social network can help them get the help the need.

However busy a woman maybe be, it is important that we take care of ourselves. Traditionally women are the family caregiver, they take care of everyone else’s needs before looking to their own. “like the flight attendants say on an airplane it is important that you put your oxygen mask first before you put child’s on.”

Juggling work and family is commonplace for women, not only do we have the strains of the busy work day, at home we have the ongoing ups and downs of family life. The struggle to maintain a good balance in the work and family relationship is key for maintaining good mental health.

Some mental health disorders are more common in women such as depression and anxiety. We are twice as likely to experience anxiety disorders than men. Keeping your life in balance isn’t easy for anyone, but women especially have a lot of stress to deal with, whether it’s due to the day’s events, home life or societal pressure, surrounding yourself with people who will treat you with respect and treating yourself the same way are the best things you can do to keep your anxiety under your control.

There are many factors why women suffer from anxiety and depression, we tend to internalize our feelings, we juggle so many things in our day-to-day lives; work, children, elderly parent care. So remember to pay attention to you emotional needs, we have one life and we need to live it the best we can.

If you feel like you are grasping and not coping as well as you ought, it might be time to take the small step in talking to a trusted friend or health professional. It may be that you need to re-think your work and home-life balance to meet your personal needs, and the changing needs of your day to day life.

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