The gender gap is real!
Due to a mix of hormones, cultural pressures (like “having it all”) and a higher risk of physical and emotional abuse, at least twice as many women as men are struck by these five mental health disorders.
Symptoms Near-constant sadness, sleep or appetite changes, hopelessness. Treatments Antidepressants, especially a class called SSRIs, can ease symptoms. Just as effective, according to research: cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), a form of talk therapy that challenges unwanted thoughts and behaviour.
Symptoms Racing thoughts, excessive worry and restlessness. Treatments CBT helps patients replace harmful thoughts (“I must be perfect”) with more realistic ones (“Mistakes aren’t the end of the world”). SSRIs can also help alleviate symptoms, often within 12 weeks.
Symptoms Repeated, out-of-the-blue episodes of fear, accompanied by a rapid pulse and often dizziness or nausea. Treatments Therapists can teach patients calming belly breathing; doctors may prescribe fast-acting meds that boost brain-calming neurotransmitters.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Symptoms Flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety. TreatmentsExposuretherapy, in which a therapist walks patients through traumatic memories; one type adds eye movements that weaken emotional recollections.
Borderline Personality Disorder
Symptoms Extreme emotional reactions (especially to feelings of abandonment); self-destructive behaviour, like unsafe sex. Treatments A form of CBT that teaches alternatives to dangerous reactions – like hitting a pillow with a Nerf bat.