Factors Affecting Mental Health in Women
The increased prevalence of mental illness in women over men has significant ties to biology, as well as to the culturally informed gendered roles women have been assigned.
This can be seen in the factors directly affecting mental health in women more so than in men:
The mothering role is generally accepted as a female one, and in many cases, when there is a family member or friend who is unwell, disabled, or needs active care in any way, the responsibility of this care falls onto women. The impact extends to emotional, mental, and physical consequences, which often leaves a woman neglecting herself in the process.
Culture, the media, age-old traditions… these all shape the world women live in today. More so, they shape the expectations of women – how they should act, what they should look like, etc. Many women feel pressured to live up to these standards. Eating disorders, depression, and body dysmorphia are just some of the ways in which mental health can be affected.
A woman’s wellbeing – both physical and psychological – is fundamentally linked to hormones. Menstruation, menopause, pregnancy, and childbirth are just a few instances where the intricate balance of hormones undergo a significant shift, paving the way for mental health problems.