March 8th is International Women’s Day. Here at Delray Beach Psychiatry, we believed women deserved to be celebrated, but we also want to take today to highlight some startling facts about women’s mental health. Here are a few interesting statistics about mental health and women to raise awareness on this International Women’s Day.
Unfortunately, mental health issues among women are on the rise. Women are more likely to experience a common mental health disorder, such as anxiety or depression, compared to men. Around one in five women will experience a mental health disorder compared to just 12% of women.
There are a few reasons for this. First, women are more likely to experience abuse and violence in their lifetime, which can lead to disorders such as PTSD and depression. Women are also more likely to seek help for mental health issues than men, which leads to higher rates of diagnosis.
There is a strong link between abuse of all kinds and developing a mental health issue. Around 53% of women who have mental health problems also experienced abuse. 78% of women who faced severe physical or sexual violence, in childhood or adulthood, develop trauma from it.
While mental health is often seen as an “adult” issue, females of any age can experience issues. 75% of mental health issues appear before the age of 24, and young women are the highest-risk group for mental health currently. Suicide and eating disorders are especially high in young girls.
Women are more likely to develop certain mental health disorders. Depression and anxiety are twice as common in women as men. This is due to a number of biological, socio-cultural, and psychological issues. Although PTSD is often associated with men, mainly due to it being linked with soldiers, women are actually twice as likely to develop it due to increased rates of violence they face.
Suicide is another disorder that impacts women more than men. Men actually die four times more often than women from suicide, but women attempt suicide 2-3 times more often than men. Women are more at risk of developing eating disorders as well, especially young women and girls. 85% of all anorexia and bulimia cases are women, which is serious as anorexia is the deadliest mental illness.
Being a woman is rough, but it’s also wonderful. Although women experience a tougher world, they’re also resilient. Women seek treatment more often and over 80% of them feel better after treatment. If you’re a woman suffering from a mental health issue know you are not alone and that there is help.