Women & Girls

Why Women’s Mental Health is Important 

It is important to highlight women’s mental health as their specific issues can differ from other genders. The societal pressures that women often face can impact their mental health and their overall wellbeing. Women can struggle with workplace discrimination, childcare and pregnancy issues, and other socioeconomic factors that can act as barriers to receiving necessary mental health care. ADAA offers a variety of mental health resources girls, teens, women and older adults. 

General Women’s Mental Health  

Girls and Teens 

Older Women 

Additional Resources from ADAA 

ADAA's Women’s Mental Health Special Interest Group (SIG) creates a place for clinicians and researchers to discuss, debate, and address issues relevant to the understanding and treatment of women suffering from anxiety and depression and related disorders. Learn more here


General Women’s Mental Health

Anxiety 

Anxiety disorders are real, serious medical conditions - just as real and serious as physical disorders such as heart disease or diabetes. Anxiety disorders are the most common and pervasive mental disorders in the United States. Click here to learn more about women and anxiety. 

Depression 

Every day, women face many different stressors in both their personal and professional lives. Feeling sad, lonely, and scared are normal reactions, however, for individuals who are diagnosed with depression, these feelings tend to be more severe as they persist. Click here to learn more about women and depression. 

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PPD) 

Many women may experience transient physical and emotional changes around the time of their period1. These symptoms are usually mild and tolerable but when it becomes uncontrollable and debilitating, they may interfere with a woman's quality of life and mental health. Click here to learn more about PMS and PPD.  

Perinatal Mood Disorders 

Perinatal mood disorders are related to mood and anxiety symptoms that occur during pregnancy or up to one year postpartum. Depression that occurs during pregnancy or within a year after delivery is called perinatal depression. Researchers believe that depression is one of the most common complications during and after pregnancy. According to PostPartum Support International, while many women experience some mild mood changes during or after the birth of a child, 15 to 20% of women experience more significant symptoms of depression or anxiety. Click here to learn more about perinatal mood disorders. 

Postpartum Disorders 

Following childbirth, other known as "postpartum", women may experience postpartum disorders that can affect their mental health. The high hormonal changes and fluctuations that occur during and after childbirth could cause mothers to feel intense mood swings called "the baby blues" which affects 80% of mothers. Click here to learn more about postpartum disorders.  

Girls and Teens 

Anxiety, depression, and other co-occurring disorders can occur in both genders but during the teenage years, girls are at a higher risk than boys. Click here to learn more about mental health in young girls and teens.  

 

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) 

Most of us have something we don't like about our appearance — a crooked nose, an uneven smile, or eyes that are too large or too small. And though we may fret about our imperfections, they generally don’t interfere with our daily lives. But people who have body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) think about their real or perceived flaws for hours each day and this can lead to serious mental health issues. Click here to learn more about BDD.  

Eating Disorders 

Eating disorders are illnesses that involve irregular eating habits and a severe concern about body weight, shape or overall appearance. They affect both genders, although rates among women and girls are 2.5 times greater than among men and boys. Transgender individuals experience eating disorders at rates significantly higher than cisgender individuals (Diemer et al., 2015). Click here to learn more about eating disorders. 

Older Women 

According to the CDC, Women aged 50 or older reported more current and lifetime diagnoses of depression than men. The same report notes that women aged 50–64 report a lifetime diagnosis of an anxiety disorder more often than men in this age group. Click here to learn more about mental health in older women. 

Perimenopause-related Mood Disorders 

Women have an increased risk for depression as they transition to menopause. The time period before menopause is "perimenopause" and it represents the passage from reproductive to non-reproductive life. Click here to learn more about perimenopause and depression. 


Additional Resources from ADAA 

Explore these helpful resources from public community members and ADAA’s professional members. 

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