Female mental health

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I want to briefly talk about female mental health. Mental illness affects women just as much as men.  Often, women brush aside any symptoms of mental ill health as they do not have time to dwell on it. They may have children to look after, maybe holding down a job as well as running a household.

Having these responsibilities can take its toll on a woman and even more so if mental illness runs in her family.

“Some people prefer to brush any issues under the carpet rather than address the problem.”

Nowadays, young girls are under a lot of pressure growing up in the age of social media. Girls may feel the pressure to conform to a certain image portrayed in the media. This is causing an increase in mental illness in the younger generation.

Some women may be scared to ask for help for fear of losing their children or being judged by their own family and society in general.  They might not know where they can go for help.

Fear of social stigma may put them off from approaching medical professionals. Majority of the time, nobody wants to admit they are mentally unwell.

Some people prefer to brush any issues under the carpet rather than address the problem. Particularly if the woman is living with in-laws or extended families.

Addressing the issues affecting the woman and what can be done to improve her mental health via lifestyle improvements or medical intervention is better than living with it and hoping it will go away.

Not dealing with the problem may have an adverse effect on a woman’s health, marriage, relationships with others and on her children.

Being mentally ill is not being sub-human. It is part and parcel of being human. It is accepting that we are all different and have different challenges to deal with in life.

It takes so many people to help a person regain their mental health, from supportive family members to understanding health professionals and of course reliable friends.

Whatever you are feeling in your life right now that may be troubling you, reach out to someone you trust and can talk to.

Make the decision to feel better about yourself, you might not need drastic measures to improve your mental wellbeing. If you feel good on the inside it will show on the outside and what is more important than your own sanity?

Seeking help

If you feel you need help then you can ring your GP for an appointment to discuss your situation.

If you feel you cannot wait, you can contact NHS 111 for advice and they will put you in touch with professionals from the mental health team. If you feel you are in imminent danger then you should go straight to A & E.

If you are 19 years or younger then you can also call ChildLine on 0800 1111. This number will not appear on your phone bill.

If you just want to talk to someone anonymously, then contact the Samaritans on 116 123. Samaritans offer a safe place for you to talk about what you are experiencing without judgement. 

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Being a man I can’t fully comprehend what a female wife, mother, sister or daughter may go through, when afflicted with mental problems. Being mentally ill half my life I did meet many female patients at hospital, as a voluntary patient. And learnt to view female compared to male mentally ill people. There are similarities, but women suffer more at the hands of men, increasing illness, as physically women are weaker but as a whole, a woman can be stronger, verbally and emotionally.

    I think women are put through more pressure, mentally, as a wife and mother. Constantly worrying about her children and husband, cooking and feeding the family…

    In Asian Muslim families the daughter, once married, leaves the house she grew up in, to go live with the in-laws or a new house if her and his own. This can greatly impact a woman’s mind. As it feels very scary at first, and this fear can grow into mental problems and high blood pressure.

    This is what I feel women go through mentally. I have noticed that there are more females who are mentally ill than men. As the systems of the world put more stress on a woman’s mind and body, till they collapse mentally, emotionally and physically

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  2. Thank you for writing such an informative article which explores mental health and causes of stress triggers in both younger and older women! You are very brave and I really enjoyed your article and the discussion it will bring about.

    I have witnessed a mother of seven children suffer. Some of the illness might be down to genetics, some of it is not looking after oneself with poor diet and lack of exercise but in that case it was being run ragged worrying about everyone else and forgetting to look after oneself. I too struggle with basic self care but brushing your teeth and having a bath or shower is a good start!

    Husbands, brothers, daughters and friends need to stand by each other and help each out working as a team to look after each other to get things done, even if that breaches some cultural gender norms doing a bit of D.I.Y, cooking or cleaning! Break those gender stereotypes!

    Women also need to support their men. It is a case of men and women being stronger together by talking about their feelings and needs rather than hiding emotions and brushing it under the carpet until it all boils over like a pressure cooker.

    We need to reach out to ask each other for support in a constructive and not an aggressive way. For instance, ask if we can have help with a certain task. My mother sometimes cooks my dinner but I run a hoover around for her and I cut the grass. Actually I need to cut the grass again but it has been raining so it will have to wait!

    If the support is consistently not forthcoming from our loved ones and we are taken for granted then we need to challenge whether these relationships are constructive and helpful. If they are not, change them!

    I have also observed a younger, first time mother posting tips about how to be a good mum, a good cleaner, a good professional and all sorts on a well known social media site! There is nothing wrong with that per se and some of the hints are absolutely brilliant, but if we are painting a picture to keep up appearances then eventually we or those around us will crack! Look at Hyacinth Bucket, and her poor husband Richard and their absent son Sheridan who can’t bear to be around her! It is not about Keeping up Appearances but being the best but just about trying our best.

    We need to stop comparing ourselves to others as tough as that is. We are each on a unique journey. Some are ready for children, some do not want children and some want to parent their children differently to others! Some might wish to pursue an education or a career. Others may prefer to marry and have a family. But whatever you choose, choose for your own heart’s desire and not just to make someone else happy.

    And if you want to marry someone of a different religion or culture, and if family or friends are cross about it, hopefully in time they will come around. And if they were right all along, on that subject matter or anything else, supportive family and friends will remain by your side and not do an, ‘I told you so’ because that is just another cause of mental health altogether.

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