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How Mental Illness Affects Women

Written by Simone Alston

Women are more likely to deal with mental illnesses, but certain mental disorders affect more women compared to men. This includes major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and eating disorders. There are also illnesses that only affect women such as premenstrual dysphoric disorder, postpartum depression, and perimenopausal depression. The reason why women are more likely to suffer from mental health disorders is because of their brain’s anatomy which contrasts from men. Changes in hormones also impact women's risk for mental illnesses. Most women exhibit more empathy and are able to comprehend emotions than men. Even though these are positive traits to have, they have a correlation with deteriorating someone’s mental health. Women also feel the need to perfect their physical appearance, live up to stereotypes, and face gender discrimination. Statistics also show that women are four times more likely to be sexually assaulted and 1 in 4 women undergo abuse with their partners compared to 1 in 9 men. Despite the trauma that women experience, research has proven that 1 in 4 women find treatment for mental illness in comparison to 1 in 10 men who do the same. No matter your gender identity, getting help from a licensed mental health professional for any psychological issue is a significant step in healing and improving your mental well being.


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