World Health Organization
Gender and Women’s Mental Health
Women’s History Month is a good time to discuss and address the difficulties of being female in a diversity of societies in the world today. The World Health Organization has done just that in a report on Gender Disparities and Mental Health.
From the Report:
Women’s Mental Health: The Facts
- Depressive disorders account for close to 41.9% of the disability from neuropsychiatric disorders among women compared to 29.3% among men.
- Leading mental health problems of the older adults are depression, organic brain syndromes and dementias. A majority are women.
- An estimated 80% of 50 million people affected by violent conflicts, civil wars, disasters, and displacement are women and children.
- Lifetime prevalence rate of violence against women ranges from 16% to 50%.
- At least one in five women suffer rape or attempted rape in their lifetime.
Depression, anxiety, psychological distress, sexual violence, domestic violence and escalating rates of substance use affect women to a greater extent than men across different countries and different settings. Pressures created by their multiple roles, gender discrimination and associated factors of poverty, hunger, malnutrition, overwork, domestic violence and sexual abuse, combine to account for women’s poor mental health. There is a positive relationship between the frequency and severity of such social factors and the frequency and severity of mental health problems in women. Severe life events that cause a sense of loss, inferiority, humiliation or entrapment can predict depression.
In other words, the pressures on women from a diversity of cultures, backgrounds and family structures are REAL – they are products of being female in today’s world. When you come to Choices Women’s Medical Center for any of our services, our Counselors and Behavioral Health Professionals are here to assist you, as well, as part of our holistic approach to health care.
For the complete World Health Organization Report, click here.