A high level of mental stress can substantially reduce the cardiac blood flow in women with heart disease, a new study by researchers from Atlanta’s Emory University finds.
Doctors and researchers know that women have unique risks for heart disease, as well as risks shared by men. In addition, women already affected by heart disease may have gender-specific risks for a worsening of their condition over time.
Abuse of opioid painkillers and overdoses have climbed alarmingly in the U.S. and a recent report by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) flags a rising number of these addictive narcotics prescribed to women of childbearing age. Given that the CDC says half of all pregnancies are unplanned, this puts a large number of newborns at potential risk for birth defects.
Abusing drugs or alcohol does not necessarily cause domestic violence, but there is a strong correlation. For households with an addict, episodes of violence are far more likely. Every day can be a fearful game of waiting for the drug abuser or alcoholic to explode or lash out at a child or a spouse. Substance abuse and domestic violence too often go together and represent a frightening reality for many Americans. The trauma of violence in the home can have far-reaching and long-term effects on both children and adults.
Altered estrogen function is a significant contributing factor to women’s chances of developing binge eating disorder, according to recent findings from a team of American and Chinese researchers.
Women develop binge eating disorder, the most common eating-related mental health condition in the U.S., substantially more often than men. In a study published in late 2014 in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers from nine American and Chinese institutions explored the role that altered estrogen processing inside women’s bodies plays in creating this gender imbalance. The researchers also explored the possibility of using some form of estrogen treatment to help women affected by binge eating disorder.
In a study with major public health consequences, researchers have found that women who take oral contraceptives that contain equal amounts of estrogen and progestin have a much smaller chance of developing major depression, panic disorder and anxiety disorder, a new study finds.
Research accumulated over the last few decades has consistently shown that women have unique, gender-related chances of developing certain mental health problems. However, the screening tools used to identify mental health issues don’t necessarily account for women’s special risks. In a study in the Journal of Clinical Nursing, researchers found that the Women’s Mental Health Scale produces clearly different outcomes for men and women and has real value as a gender-specific tool to measure women’s mental well-being.
Many women struggle with a threat to their sobriety that men don’t have to deal with. It’s a recurring threat for millions of women, and even though it’s a temporary problem that will go away if you hang in there, it can be a very powerful and even destructive force. It’s premenstrual syndrome, better known as PMS.
Along with polydrug abuse, polysubstance abuse is a term used by addiction specialists and public health officials to describe a pattern of alcohol, drug and/or medication abuse that includes at least two psychoactive (and typically addictive) substances. The short- and long-term consequences of such a pattern of substance intake are potentially severe. In a study published in October 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, a team of researchers from the University of Florida sought to determine if women involved in polysubstance abuse develop associated problems more rapidly than their male counterparts.
Depression is one of the more common mental disorders, and awareness efforts have eliminated some of the stigma attached. The general public is more aware of the characteristic symptoms of depression and may be able to recognize the signs in a loved one.
As women, mothers, and future mothers, we all want the best for our children. We want to bring healthy babies into the world and raise them to be happy and well. But sometimes children are born with medical conditions or mental health problems, and in those instances we love them and care for them as best we can.
Much research has been conducted to tell us what to do during pregnancy, and what not to do, to assure maximum health for our babies, and new information is cropping up all the time. Most recently, research has uncovered a link between mental health in children and hormonal treatments women received while trying to get pregnant. The authors caution that we not worry unnecessarily about the result or even stop using fertility treatments. The risks of having a child with autism, ADHD, or other behavioral issues are still small.
Nearly everyone experiences times of feeling down. Sadness that lasts a day or two or even a few days is normal. But when it lasts for two weeks or more, it could be a sign of depression. Depression affects millions of Americans every year. However, though depression affects both women and men, it seems to strike women far more often.
Addiction is a complicated and sometimes mysterious disease. It becomes particularly mysterious when an addict isn’t fixed on a chemical like a drug or alcohol. People can develop behavioral addictions to activities like shopping or gambling, and how this happens is not fully understood. The latest type of addiction to be identified is pregnancy. Some women get attached to the feeling of being pregnant and of having a big family. It may sound ridiculous, but it has become a real problem for some women.
Each year the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) collects information about diseases currently being diagnosed in the United States. These statistics show us how common certain diagnoses are, what trends or changes are occurring, and also what trends seem to be consistent over time. One of these trends, described in a recent article by Oxford University psychiatrist Daniel Freeman, may raise some eyebrows. The article discusses gender-related trends in mental illness and clearly shows that women are diagnosed with mental illness at significantly higher rates than men.
Skin disorders, also known as dermatological disorders, are a broad-ranging group of conditions that damage the normal health or integrity of one or more layers of your skin. In recent years, mental health professionals have begun to explore the connections between these disorders and a variety of mental health problems. The unofficial name for this new path of exploration is psychodermatology. In some cases, known mental disorders produce damaging effects on the skin. In other cases, skin disorders manifest with a significant psychological component.
Many of us spend years obsessing about neuroses, worrying we might inherit a psychological illness from one parent or another, consuming one self-help regimen after another, contemplating self-improvement while slumping in dim therapy offices, revealing what we perceive as our psychological failures. We may continue to repeat this cycle, unaware of the fact that all our focus on psychological weakness is itself the source of perceived failure. All that hoping for healing, thinking deep down that someday maybe we will be well—unaddicted, non-neurotic, free from our attachments and fears. But have we really given real thought to what psychological wellness looks like? While we can envision what well-balanced physical health looks like (we read enough articles about it), what do we know of what the well-balanced inner life would truly be like?