General Psychiatry

Women’s Mental Health

Mental disorders can affect women and men differently. Some disorders are more common in women such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders. 

There are also certain types of disorders that are unique to women. For example, some women may experience symptoms of mental disorders at times of hormone change, such as perinatal depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and perimenopause-related depression.


Social and economic factors can put women at greater risk of poor mental health than men. However, women generally find it easier to talk about their feelings and have stronger social networks, both of which can help protect their mental health.

What Affects Women’s Mental Health?

There are a number of factors affecting women’s mental health.

  • Women are more likely to be the main carer for their children than men, and may care for older or disabled relatives too. Women carers are more likely to experience anxiety and depression than other women.
  • Women are more likely to live in poverty than men.
  • Poverty, working mainly in the home and concerns about personal safety can all make women feel isolated. Social isolation is linked to mental health problems.
  • Physical and sexual abuse can have a long-term impact on women’s mental health, especially if they haven’t received any support.
  • Women are exposed to more sexual violence than men, which means more women are affected by PTSD.
  • When women find it hard to talk about difficult feelings and internalize them, this can lead to problems such as depression and eating disorders. They may express their emotional pain through self-harm, whereas men are more likely to act out their feelings through disruptive or anti-social behaviors.