Women's Mental Health Is Getting Worse

11/01/2011 10:04 | Updated 22 May 2015

Depression-in-women-is-getting-worseDepression among women is getting worse, say experts. Photo: Stock.xchng, Glenda Otero

Health experts already know that depression and other mental health problems affect more women than men, but a new report suggests things are getting worse. According to researchers from Platform 51 (formerly the YWCA), an astonishing three out of five women have experienced some sort of mental health problem, and almost a third have taken antidepressants.

The report claims twice as many women are likely to be depressed as men. But why?

According to the researchers, for many women losing their jobs, the breakdown of a relationship, becoming pregnant or getting into debt are among the reasons depression starts. For younger women and girls the trigger can be things like leaving home.

Knowing the reasons still doesn't explain why mental health problems are worse for women, since men can also be strongly affected by things like redundancy and relationship breakdown. The report's authors, however, suggest that many women facing mental health problems simply aren't getting enough support.

As a result, the researchers are calling for changes in the way mental health is approached and treated. For instance, dishing out antidepressants has created too much dependency among some women, and the researchers are suggesting there should be more choice in terms of treatments.

The sheer numbers involved in the report - for instance, if its figures are correct, it suggests more than 15 million women in England and Wales have suffered from a mental health problems - are shocking.

Do you think the report paints an accurate picture of the lives of many women? If you've ever suffered from a mental health problem, what kind of support and treatment have you received? Do you find exercise, for instance, helps beat the blues?

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