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Emotional Health Issues of Women | Sailing Through with Confidence

Emotional Health Issues of Women | Sailing Through

with Confidence

 

The roles that women play in society have tremendously evolved through the years. Gone are the days when they are merely designated in the perceived safe confines of homes, schools and hospitals. These days, women are ever-present in areas traditionally thought to be reserved for men such as in the legislature, law enforcement, farms, offshore rigs, etc. – toiling side by side with their male counterparts. Along with these new roles are complications that challenge them physically and emotionally.

Flexibility and determination helped them succeed in their chosen realms. Empowerment helped them overcome challenges. Despite their jobs or careers, many continued with their maternal, wifely and domestic responsibilities. It is, therefore, not surprising that a significant number reel from emotional health issues. Though their challenges have caused them to be resilient, they also become overwhelmed. Women may put up a brave front, even when sad, scared, pained, worried, and troubled inside, but that doesn’t mean they are always okay.

If you are one of these women, know that you are not alone. There are 29 million other American women who are experiencing a diagnosable, emotional condition, says the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Millions more are unreported and untreated. You can avoid becoming a part of the statistic by coming forward and consulting with a counselor or therapist. Counseling/therapy can be proactive. You can seek help before you become overwhelmed, depressed or anxious.  It is a process that can help you sustain your resilience and emotional health.

 

The Myth of the “Weaker Sex”

Men’s physical strength and the “damsel in distress” mindset reinforce the fallacy that women belong to the “weaker sex.” Though there is no truth in it, it is among the reasons why men usually take on the most important role in a family, clan or tribe. This is still true in certain cultures, despite the enlightenment of the present generation, the rise in feminism and the ratification of the women’s equal rights. Literally, women continue to be the usual victims of violence in the streets and in many homes. Figuratively, they persist to battle for equality to this day.

Save from physical strength, women are stronger than men, if truth be told. Women’s superiority over their male counterpart are supported by scientific facts. For instance, they have a longer life span than men by about five to six years. Having two X chromosomes, they can only be carriers of certain sex-linked characteristics, requiring that both be affected for a disease to be manifested. Men with only one X chromosome readily manifest a condition once they inherit a defective one. They are more resistant to certain medical conditions and they can recover sooner from illnesses than men.

Their seemingly “fragile” nature is just that. Beneath their delicate physique is a robust nature that gives them the ability to carry and nurture life in their bodies for nine months several times in a lifetime. Marie Curie and Indira Gandhi both raised two children. J.K. Rowling is a single mom. “Dr. Dana Suskind, a widowed mother of three, is a pediatric surgeon at the University of Chicago who founded the Thirty Million Words Initiative…” Not only did they raise their children to the best of their abilities, they also made their names go down in history for exemplary accomplishments. A woman can become a mom, but the many challenges can turn a mom into “a super woman.”

 

The Womanly Weaknesses

Of course, their strength does not mean they’re invincible. Like men, they too have weaknesses. Foremost is their vulnerability to certain emotional conditions, says the American Psychological Association (APA), such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Research shows that the risk is about 40 percent higher than men. A study conducted by the APA shows that it is so because they tend to internalize or focus so much on their emotions. The stresses of being a mother and wife may also contribute to their risk.

There are certain influences that may increase women’s risk for depression and anxiety. Women experience dramatic hormonal fluctuations and unique biological processes related to menstruation, pregnancy and menopause. Having a high level of estrogen, which incidentally affects their emotions, can be a potent factor in their emotional nature and a higher tendency to develop depression and anxiety. Motherhood, combined with the stress from work, can be extremely overwhelming, particularly for single moms.

More women also struggle with PTSD. Though they can survive and face trauma better than men, it is interesting that they are more likely to develop PTSD after a traumatic exposure. Studies also reveal that they are more likely to develop eating disorders, like bulimia and anorexia nervosa. Though there are men who may succumb to these eating issues, these eating conditions are “often thought of in terms of things generally keyed feminine, such as vanity, self-control, emotionality, and perfectionism,” says Rachel Porter. Today’s media is of no help, as it reinforces the idea that beauty and appeal are geared toward looks, weight and shape.  

 

WHO: The Role of Gender

According to the World Health Organization, gender disparities play a role in the development of emotional issues. Though the Overall rates of psychiatric disorder are almost identical for men and women, … striking gender differences are found in the patterns of emotional illness.”  In fact, gender is regarded as a “critical determinant” of emotional conditions and the state of emotional health.

Why gender? WHO says that “Gender determines the differential power and direction men and women have over the socioeconomic determinants of their emotional health and lives, their social position, status and treatment in society and their susceptibility and exposure to specific emotional health risks.” Thus, there are conditions that are prevalent in men and there are those that are more commonly observed among women. Antisocial personality and the lifetime prevalence rate for alcohol dependence are more likely to be diagnosed in men while depression, anxiety and eating disorders are more common in women.

 

The World Health Organization shares these women’s emotional health facts:

 

  • Depressive disorders account for close to 41.9% of the disability from neuropsychiatric disorders among women compared to 29.3% among men.
  • Leading emotional 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 experience rape or attempted rape in their lifetime.

 

Confidently Succeeding with Counseling

Motherhood can strengthen women, pushing them and challenging them limits. Being a woman means being biologically different. Maybe it is true that their emotional health issues have nothing to do with their hormones or their “emotional” nature. It is quite evident, though, that by gender they are predisposed to many social, maternal, marital and work/career challenges. All these can leave them vulnerable to certain emotional health issues.

The closing of the twentieth century and the unfolding of the new millennium may have elevated the stature of women to that of men, but their challenges have also grown in leaps and bounds. It is a good thing that such growth has also boosted women’s confidence and catapulted the stature of counseling as a frontline defense against emotional issues.

More educated than ever before, do not be afraid or feel shame, if you want to sort out and resolve your issues. You can reach out for help from people who understand women’ issues. Take care of your emotional health…. “It is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.”  Find the help and confidence you need from a caring expert independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – Cameron, NC, on Hwy 87, near Linden Oaks. Do not repress your emotions. Call now!

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Cameron, NC

Counties: Harnett County

Areas: Cameron NC, Linden Oaks NC, Sprout Springs NC, Anderson Creek NC, Olivia NC, Pineview NC, Johnsonville NC, Spring Lake NC

Zip Codes: 28326, 28327, 27332, 28394

Rose Thomas, MA, LPC, LCAS, NCC

Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Children, Teens, Individuals, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder, ADHD, Relationship Issues, Marriage Counseling, Parenting, PTSD/Trauma Recovery, Acute Stress Disorder, Adult Sexual Abuse Survivors, Adjustment Disorders, Depressive Disorders, Persistent Depressive Disorder, Bipolar and Related Disorders, Self-injurious/Self-Harm, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Separation Anxiety, Disruptive Disorders, Conduct Disorder, Marital Conflict and Discord, LGBT, Substance Use Disorders
 Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Tricare Prime, Tricare Select, Extra, Retired, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

 

Specializes in: (Ages 4+) Children, Individuals, families, PTSD, Trauma, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Adjustment Disorder, ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, communication skills, and Parenting Skills, Behavior Management, Life transitions, Family Conflict, Difficulty Coping, Relationship Problems, Depression, Anxiety

InsuranceBCBSTricare, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted and Apple Pay

Credit cards:  
 

 

Shirlisa Daniels, MS, LPC, NCC

Specializes in: (Ages 4+) Children, Teens, Adults and Individuals, Families, Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Panic Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, ODD, PTSD, Relationship Issues, Conflict Resolution and Life Transitions
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Cash (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: (910) 722-9008 (Fastest way to schedule)
  • Text: (910) 308-3291 (Reply will be via phone)
  • Click here and use our Contact Form (You must include your phone number, because replies will only be made by telephone to ensure security/privacy)
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  • Appointment scheduling for NEW clients: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:15pm
  • New client appts may be scheduled when therapists have openings, which may include daytime, evenings and weekends.
  • Established/Standing Appointments are made directly with your therapist!
  • Referrals: MOST beneficiaries do NOT need a Referral!
Carolina Counseling Services - Cameron, NC
35 Plantation Drive, Suite 100B and 100C
Cameron, NC 28326

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