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During the last few years, a drastic change has taken place in respect to millennial women coming out and talking about their mental health issues, removing the social stigma which was attached to addressing mental health problems and seeking help for it.
Yet a large number of studies across the globe show, every year, more women suffer through chronic depression and other mental health problems compared to men, mostly due to domestic violence, emotionally abusive relationships, gender discrimination, a constant struggle to balance their professional and personal lives and many more.
Women are more prone to fall in the grip of depression
According to WHO, “Depression is not only the most common women’s mental health problem but may be more persistent in women than men.” A study of NMHS shows, women of adult age residing in urban metro areas suffer more mental health problems than their counterparts in rural areas, WHO cited. In India, 2.97% women on average suffer through depressive disorders whereas 2.37% men suffer through the same.
Depression and anxiety, the two major culprits!
Among a long list of vicious mental health issues, depression and anxiety have come as the most common ones for working women of our generation.
Lack of self-care, anyone?
Depression among the working women can stem from various reasons, the first and foremost being the lack of self-care. Staying in abusive relationships be it an emotional or physical, constant societal burden to achieve both in professional lives and personal also play major factors.
Often, millennial women change cities for their work or for their partner. Studies show that a detachment from their support system, distance from the family become a reason for their depression which can also turn to be chronic if not sought help in time.
It’s 2019 and body-conditioning still running strong
Probing into the lifescape of a modern woman will also show you, while financial and emotional stresses lead to a room full of mental health issues, body conditions of the society and the struggle to be “perfect” everywhere, also affect their inner confidence. “To look perfect, walk perfect, act perfectly”, can only sound utterly tiresome and with the arrival of self-hatred and self-pity, lack of self-care starts in no time!
The urban modernization has also opened up its own can of worms when it comes to the mental health of modern women. While the social media and its extended support can help women building a strong community of sisterhood and solidarity, it also leads to procrastination, short attention span and an urge to focus on more curated reality than focus on the real life!
However, while some of the risk factors of mental health develop in adulthood, studies also show that more deeply impacted reasons of mental health problems can arise from childhood including troubled upbringing, exposed to domestic conflicts from an early age, maternal loss etc. But Dr KV Kishore Kumar told BBC, “Families are not necessarily always villains in this story”, in most scenarios, “The state has failed the family and, therefore, the families have failed their women,”.
Societal pressure and certain traditions of society have also been pointed out as risk factors which expose women to depression. For example, women of our generation who go through an early marriage face a series of stringent mental health issues. According to Psychology Professor Chandana Aditya who explained to Feministaa, “A girl has to leave her parents and familiar environment, have to take up responsibilities and have to meet up different expectations. It is not an easy task to fulfil all those conditions and inevitably brings stress. A chronic stressful condition leads to anxiety, depression and adjustment problem.”
Professor Aditya also told Feministaa, in case of working women, “there are contraindicatory research findings regarding working women and mental health issues”, adding “When it is an obvious fact that professional life brings more strain and hazards, it also boosts self-esteem and confidence.”
According to her, practising self-care and a disciplined life can relieve the daily stress of a woman’s everyday life. “A serious attempt should be taken to lead a disciplined life. Regular exercise, healthy diet and adequate rest help to keep physical and physiological processes in a balance and we know a sound body leads to a sound mind. Apart from that, seeking social support, cultivating hobbies and even social services help to promote satisfaction and thus adjustment”, the professor advised.
Agreeing with Professor Aditya, we at Feministaa are giving you a list of self-care rituals, worshipping may help us all, deal with our everyday stress, depression and other mental health brutes.
- Chant with us – Understand, unwind and sometimes unlearn – For most of us, our day-to-day life consists of a daily dose of casual sexism in the workplace, additional work pressure and the clinging self-hatred for not doing enough. We say, listen to your body, understand it and find time to unwind. A proper amount of sleep and meditation can do wonders for your mental health. Also, keep unlearning what you need to!
- Focus and Prioritize – You have heard it enough and you will hear it again. Sometimes, saying no can bring you the biggest opportunity to say yes to more important things.
- Seek Help – You know what they say, it is never too late to seek help. Therapy can untangle a lot more than what you have been able to.
- Stay Hydrated and Eat Healthily – If you can’t do the latter like me, do the former one! Hydration is the key.
- Nurture the mind – If you have not heard this enough time, we will tell you again. Nurture your precious mind by reading or simply writing down your thoughts. It’s never too late to start journaling.
- Adventures are necessary – Holiday season has just subsided but that should not stop from exploring! In a free day, go out and explore your own city. After all, adulthood itself is the biggest adventure, we have signed up for!
To end it with Oprah Winfrey who said, “Turn your wound into wisdom” and run the world, woman! Also, don’t forget to tell us your success story. We’d love to share it with all our readers.