May focuses on both women’s health and mental health, two incredibly important subjects that often meet hand-in-hand. Since 1 in 5 women are affected by a mental illness each year, we thought it was a perfect time for discussion.
Mental illness affects more than just the mind–it’s detrimental to physical health and it deeply impacts family and loved ones, too. Mental health issues in women are often related to hormonal issues but other causes are possible as well. Often, women chalk up mental health struggles to current life situations or hormonal changes but don’t seek help. They assume the problem will go away or that their issue isn’t as bad as it actually is. However, depression and anxiety, as well as other mental illnesses like body dysmorphic disorder, are more common in women than men. Women are also more likely to experience PTSD and attempt suicide than men, although men are four times more likely to die from suicide.
So how do you know if you just have a case of the blues, are simply anxious over a situation in life, or have an actual mental illness that needs to be treated medically? Women with mental illness typically display one or multiple of these warning signs:
- Persistent sadness or hopelessness
- Drug or alcohol misuse
- Excessive or extreme fear or worry
- Extreme changes in appetite and/or weight
- Notable changes in eating or sleeping patterns
- Irritability, extreme high and low moods
- Decreased energy, fatigue
- Social withdrawal
- Body aches, headaches, and digestive problems without other cause
- Suicidal thoughts
If you are a woman struggling with even one of these symptoms, it’s time to seek professional help for your condition. The best place to start is your family medical provider. At EliteCare, we’ll perform a full medical exam including lab work and a discussion of your personal and family medical and mental health history to try to find an underlying cause or causes of your symptoms. We’ll also refer you to a mental health professional if necessary and work with them to treat your illness. Now you can begin seeking help from home with telehealth if you are uncomfortable with coming into the office. To request either an in-office or telehealth appointment, dial or text 662-348-3342.