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Women’s Issues Counseling and Treatment

Women's Issues Counseling and Treatment

Females make up about half the earth’s population, yet their voices are often undervalued because they belong to a particular gender. Issues faced by women on political, social, sexual, economic fronts, etc. which result from the oppression, inequality, and discrimination against them are called women’s issues. Women's Issues may impact their daily experiences as well as relationships and may present unique challenges.

Such issues cause significant distress to women which might contribute to the development of mental health disorders in them, but receiving expert help from a therapist can help to tackle this. 7 Cups is an online mental health support community that offers online therapy services alongside a safe place to seek support for your concerns with many free features including live chats with trained listeners, community answers to common questions, group support chatrooms, as well as growth paths with helpful steps to take.

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Common Struggles Faced by Females

Women face a lot of issues just because they belong to a particular gender. Some of these include violence against women both at home and in public places, female infanticide, genital mutilation, lesser pay for the same amount of work done as men, underrepresentation as leaders in the governments among many others. Apart from these, women’s health isn’t taken as seriously as it should be. A significant amount of women in the world still do not have access to menstrual hygiene products and develop fatal infections.

Depression

Although depression can occur in anyone regardless of their gender or sex, there are certain forms of depression that are unique to women, like perinatal depression (depression during pregnancy and after childbirth), perimenopausal depression (depression that comes with the transition into menopause), Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), etc. It affects every woman differently but is certainly something they could use a little help with. Women facing depression may struggle with low self-esteem, grief, as well as challenges in feeling confident in their roles.

Eating Disorders

Statistically, women are more likely to develop eating disorders than men. Eating disorders stem from a place of low self-esteem, a poor image of one’s body, and a need to look perfect with regard to the beauty norms set by society. Women are taught that having certain body proportions is the only way they’ll ever be attractive to someone and will receive love when it’s far from the truth. Therefore, it is easier for them to fall prey to eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia, etc, after seeking such perfectionism and having challenges with body image, for which they might require expert intervention from a counselor.

Infertility

Infertility means not being able to get pregnant even after a complete year of trying, and six months of trying if the woman is over the age of 35. Having a miscarriage or multiple miscarriages may also be called infertility. This can really be hard to go through for women who want to get pregnant and have children, and may even be a huge cause for the development of mental health conditions like depression in them.

Motherhood

Motherhood, although desirable to many, isn’t easy, and may put women at risk of a lot of potential mental health conditions. With the physical changes that come with pregnancy and post-pregnancy, there also come a wide range of emotions, mood swings, sometimes postpartum depression, a lot of anxiety, and an infant to take care of. For new moms it can be specifically harder because it’s their first time doing something life-altering as this, and for many women, there’s often little to no help that they receive for raising their child even if they are a new mother. Women may face fear and single moms may be more vulnerable after having a baby and not having a support system. A lot of women also report feeling guilty and as though they are failing at motherhood. In addition, such a life transition might make it difficult to balance a career and being a parent, adding extra stress and pressure. Such feelings can be helped by receiving support from loved ones and seeking therapy from an expert therapist.

Women’s Mental Health Statistics

According to WHO, depressive disorders account for close to 41.9% of the disability from neuropsychiatric disorders among women compared to 29.3% among men. Leading mental health problems of older adults are depression, organic brain syndromes, and dementia. A majority are women. An estimated 80% of 50 million people affected by violent conflicts, civil wars, disasters, and displacement are women and children. The lifetime prevalence rate of violence against women ranges from 16% to 50%. At least one in five women suffer rape or attempted rape in their lifetime.

Gender differences exist in patterns of help-seeking for psychological disorders. Women are more likely to seek help from and disclose mental health problems to their primary health care physician while men are more likely to seek specialist mental health care and are the principal users of inpatient care. Men are more likely than women to disclose problems with alcohol use to their health care provider.

The Physical Symptoms

Often women can be found privately struggling with their issues, but there are some tell-tale signs that someone might be struggling. If there’s a change in their sleeping or eating patterns, if there are marks of violence present on their body, if they talk negatively of themselves, if they talk about dying or harming themselves, if they’re not as humorous as they used to be etc., it might be a good time to check in with them and offer them support.

Healing from Emotional and Physical Trauma

In order to heal from trauma, one needs to resolve the unpleasant feelings and memories they’ve always avoided. Building a support system, talking about things, receiving professional help in the form of therapy is also a great way of healing from trauma. For example, in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) individuals are taught how to deal with anxiety and stress after having awareness about their thought patterns, educated about normal reactions to trauma, etc. and it has proven to be quite helpful in healing trauma. In addition, practices such as mindfulness may help diminish any anxiety, stress, or self-doubt. Although finding hope in the face of experiences such as domestic violence or PTSD may be hard, addressing your mental health concerns can help you heal.

Couples may find family therapy helpful in addressing past trauma or other concerns to heal and face ongoing issues together with defined expectations and responsibilities.

Healing may require assessing self-care techniques and your current lifestyle, addressing your concerns with help from a professional, as well as ensuring boundaries are communicated in light of any relationship issues or other challenges. Focusing on personal growth, positive changes to help you let go of the past and its negative implications, as well as ensuring the right support environment can help you regain the power needed to cope with your challenges.

7 Cups has online therapy services that you can consider as an online treatment option. Mental health professionals at 7 Cups offer individual therapy and use different approaches to help individuals struggling with issues women may face including low self-esteem, anxiety, stress, and substance abuse. While therapists focus on a variety of issues, your experience will be personalized to prioritize your concerns. Licensed therapists at 7 Cups are able to work with you to set goals and a treatment plan based on your specific mental health concerns. The therapy sessions do not require scheduled appointments, and communication can be made with your therapist at any time via text messages during the weekdays. The online platform is also available through a mobile device using the 7 Cups App and has other free features such as growth paths, online peer chatrooms, as well as trained volunteer listeners.

Dealing with Social and Cultural Constraints

Numerous socio-cultural constraints are tied to one as a woman. These may lead to challenges in marriage, the ability to seek support from one's family or friends, as well as having a safe space to cope with different situations. To rise above them, deal with them, and empower others to do the same is not and will never be easy. Toxic gender roles, patriarchy, stigmas, violence upon non-compliance, and a number of other factors make life incredibly hard as a woman in society. Things differ from culture to culture, and from household to household, but one thing that remains the same is the oppression and constraints that women have to face just because they are women. Support from the community around one, unlearning the harmful things that one has been conditioned to believe, educating oneself about one’s rights, and seeking therapy when things get hard is quite helpful in dealing with such constraints.

Featured Contributors

Pella Weisman, MA, LMFT

Pella is a licensed marraige and family therapist with experience working with clients of many backgrounds including young adults, LGBTQI, and interfaith and interracial couples.

Kathy Wenzel

Kathy is the editor of a leading regional publication in Michigan with personal experience with and a passion for mental health issues.

Rachel Cherry White

Rachel Cherry White has a degree in Family & Community Services and is a strong proponent of psychological well being, truly believing that everyone can and should live their best life.