Women's Mental Health

Traditionally, women have been socialized to be caretakers. With the daily demands of life, many women balance the responsibilities of work, school, home, and immediate and extended families. Most recently, the added task of assisting with e-learning or hybrid schedules for school-aged children has kept women busy and even though in-person volunteer opportunities may have slowed down, women are still involved in virtual ways of fulfilling these charitable acts whether for their children’s school or an issue or organization that is dear to their hearts.

Often, women feel guilty if they experience anger over daily pressures or if they are unable to care for everyone’s needs at once. They take care of others’ needs, neglecting their own. They are perceived by others and even themselves as selfish when engaging in self-nurturing activities, so it is difficult for many women to care for their own needs.

Striving for perfection is not only an issue at home but also at work or school. More and more women are entering fields that are male-dominated, facing challenges because of the pressures as well as discrimination and earning less than their male counterparts. While working outside the home, their worries about home, family, chores, bills, and health continue. Women often face a male standard for achievement at work and an old-fashioned female standard for perfection at home.

Traditional gender-role expectations have implications on women’s mental health. Women are at higher risk to suffer from depression, anxiety, and panic disorders than men. Prevalent use of substances and alcohol dependency is also higher in women as are eating disorders.