Understanding Women’s Health
Written by: Tyler T. Gibson
Millions of women across the United States face depression at some point in their lives. Causes can vary from hormonal, personal relationships, or a family history of mental illness. But depression is not the only illness women can experience.
Every three minutes, a woman goes into the emergency room for prescription painkiller abuse, with 4.6 million women abusing prescription drugs.
Often individuals turn to substance abuse as a way to escape certain obstacles, or due to high levels of anxiety or stress.
According to Jean Tucker, LMHC and director of outpatient services at Charlotte Behavioral Health Care, stress can be a major trigger.
“Stress can come from many areas such as relationships, children, work, finances, daily life, and can cause issues with depression and anxiety if women don’t have an adequate support system,” Tucker said.
Hormonal changes, especially after the birth of a child, can also be a cause. Not only is a woman adapting to the changes within her body, she is also dealing with the changes in her daily life.
Tucker describes having a baby can be a wonderful time in a woman’s life, but it can also be a very stressful time as well. According to the National Council for Behavioral Health (NCBH), nine percent of women experience postpartum PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) following childbirth.
Genetics can be a result in suffering from a mental illness. A family history of depression, mood disorders, or any other mental health disorder can predispose a woman to those mental health issues in her lifetime. More than 12 million women in the United States experience depression each year, two times the rate of men.
According to Tucker, a woman should seek treatment if she is feeling overwhelmed and needs support, if at any time she is having thoughts of hurting herself or others, including her children, or if her feelings of sadness or anxiety have lasted more than a few weeks. She should also seek help if those feelings impact her in several areas of her life. Even if a woman thinks she is being over emotional or sensitive, she may still benefit from treatment to help her process those emotions.
Fortunately, according to the NCBH, 80 percent of women with depression feel better with treatment.
HOW CBHC CAN HELP:
Charlotte Behavioral Health Care staffs more than 200 professionals who are ready to assist individuals with mental illnesses, substance abuse, and recovery efforts. In the event of a crisis, individuals can call the 24-hour emergency line at (941) 575-0222. For recovery, individuals can call (941) 347-6444. CBHC has three locations to service clients: Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, and Arcadia. For a list of locations and addresses visit www.CBHCFL.org or call our main line at (941) 639-8600.