Prioritising Women’s mental health

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Women in particular need to keep an eye on their physical and mental health. Because if we are scurrying to and from appointments and errands. We don’t have a lot of time to take care of ourselves. We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher in our own to ‘do list.

Michelle Obama

Kanishtha Singh, Ground report:

Health plays a vital role for every living organism, humans, animals or plants. It is really important to take care of the health for everyone. Women are a major part of our societies, and this should be everyone’s responsibility to take care of our mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends. With changing time and lifestyles, women’s have to fight more to withstand. We should work towards prioritising the Women’s Mental health.

Women Health issues which are a matter of serious concern are:

  • Heart diseases
  • Breast and ovarian cancer
  • Osteoporosis
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Autoimmune diseases

Women’s generally face a lot of body changes and mood swings. Natural hormonal fluctuations can lead to depression or anxiety. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) occurs commonly among women, while premenstrual dysmorphic disorder (PMDD) presents similar, but greatly intensified, symptoms. Shortly after birth, many mothers acquire a form of depression called the “baby blues,” but perinatal depression causes similar – but much stronger – concerns, emotional shifts, sadness, and tiredness.

Perimenopause, the shift into menopause, can also cause depression. No matter how intense the symptoms, care providers can provide relief with a prescription or therapeutic treatments. Generally, no one took these as a serious mental problems and keep neglecting which later becomes a severe depression or mental illness.

“Mental health: Evidence suggests that women are more prone than men to experience anxiety, depression, and somatic complaints – physical symptoms that cannot be explained medically. Depression is the most common mental health problem for women and suicide a leading cause of death for women under 60. Helping sensitise women to mental health issues, and giving them the confidence to seek assistance, is vital.”

According to WHO

Violence is the main cause of mental illness.

However whether violence occurs during childhood or in adult life or is primarily physical, sexual or psychological, there is now incontrovertible evidence that women who have experienced brutal victimisation, manifest greatly increased rates of depression, anxiety, PTSD and other psychological disorders in adult life compared with their non victimized counterparts Identifying and modifying factors that will improve the psychological well being of women who have experienced violence must be a high priority of any program of mental
health promotion.

One obvious area in which positive change can take place, is in an improved response by the health care system to women who have been victimised.

With physical, social, and environmental changes the crucial part is health challenges especially mental health dilemmas.

Several factors argue powerfully for the need for careful screening of all women presenting to health care facilities.

The cyclical nature of violence, the high level of revictimisation involved and the persistence of problems reflected in increased rates of health care utilisation by those who have been victimized.
Most of the research on the mental health effects of violence has been preoccupied with enumerating and understanding increased rates of psychological disorder. Factors involved in resilience and recovery have received less attention so far. The most obvious way of reducing
violence related psychological harm is to stop the violence and ensure that revictimisation does not occur.

Women who had been but were no longer injured had significantly decreased rates of depression over time whereas there were no significant changes to the depression of those who continued to experience violence. Obviously, stopping violence and abuse is paramount. Yet to be able to leave a violent situation, a woman must have somewhere else safe to go.

In other words, broad situational and environmental factors are important as well as individual factors. Women’s health is inextricably linked to their status in society. It benefits from equality, and suffers from discrimination. Every effort must be made to improve this status, to remedy the human rights abuse deriving from gender based violence and to increase women’s control over the determinants of mental health.

Vastly considering, however, there is now sufficient evidence that depression in many women is a predictable response to severe events and difficulties in their environment and with those with whom they have ‘core ties’, that stimulate a sense of humiliation,
trap and lack of control over life.

Social structural factors including low income and inequality are clearly one source of such events and such feelings. Another is the experience of violence.

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