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GENERAL

What does Mental Health mean?

In this section, we focus on the experiences of women on their way of life and the interrelationships between her mental health, body and these experiences.

Mental health consists of a few key elements: how we think, feel and act within the relationship with ourselves, other people and our world. Our mental health influences the choices we make, as well as the relationships we maintain and those that break up.

The life path of the woman usually includes e.g. experiences regarding lifestyle choices, relationships, efforts to raise or not to raise children, and career choices. Each of these aspects can create a specific reality, but it can also be accompanied by certain losses and demands that are made daily to the woman.

We do not want to label, label and restrict women (or men) at all. We regard femininity and masculinity as common traits on a continuous spectrum (continuum) and believe each individual has his or her own combination of "female" and "male" traits. We focus here on the experiences that occur more frequently among women so that we can understand them.

Did you know?
  1. Depression occurs twice more in women than in men.
  2. Depression is the most common mental health problem among women.
  3. In developed countries, one in twelve women will develop alcohol dependence.
  4. Due to the high incidence of sexual violence against women, post-traumatic stress is also most common among women.
  5. Mental health

This section is certainly not a feminist attempt to highlight women as superior or dominant, or fight for women's rights, but rather a platform to articulate women's experiences.

WHY IMPORTANT

Why is Mental Health important?

We live in a world where there is so much pressure on individuals to perform, that people sometimes lose the ability to value their experiences. We are sometimes so future-driven that the moment passes by us. In the process, we create a breeding ground for mental health problems.

The focus on women's mental health is specifically aimed at exploring, understanding and supporting the challenges posed to women (practical and emotional), in the workplace, at home and socially. We want to articulate these experiences so that other women can also see that they are not alone in their struggles and give tips on how to handle difficult situations.

DIFFERENCE

How does women's mental health differ from men's mental health?

Mental health and men's mental health do not differ in terms of the symptoms, the degree of the symptoms or the types of diagnoses. (There are, however, certain trends that are observed globally, eg that eating disorders are more frequent in women and that men are more frequently diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder. may experience an eating disorder or a woman may not have an antisocial personality disorder.)

The nature of the triggers also does not differ much (eg, losing a job or a partner or experiencing rejection by a peer). The expression of the symptoms and the treatment can also sometimes differ (because of the way we are socialized).

So the nature of mental health remains the same, but because of how our society views, treats and educates men and women, there are certain differences in the expression and management of the symptoms.

Rather, the focus is on a certain type of trigger e.g. a miscarriage (although it affects men differently, they experience it differently), or the demands made on a single mother (although single couples also suffer), and how women are associated with it.

Gender-based factors that affect women more and increase the risk of mental health problems in women:

  1. gender-based violence
  2. socio-economic disadvantage (disadvantage)
  3. low income and income inequality
  4. low income and income inequality
  5. continued responsibility for the care of others
  6. Mental health

IMPORTANCE OF ROLES

The importance of the role of the husband / partner / spouse

The mental health of the man and that of the woman in a relationship affect each other. In other words, if one gets heavy, the other gets heavy as well. If the woman is struggling with postnatal depression, it will also affect the man negatively. If the woman cope, it will positively affect the husband's mental state and vice versa. Therefore, it is extremely important not to see women's mental health in isolation, but within the context of her intimate as well as other relationships.

"Happy wife, happy life?"
We easily say “happy wife, happy life”But in fact the opposite is also true - if the man or partner is happy or unhappy, it also affects the woman in the relationship.

BURNING OUT

Burnout

We often hear from people who "burn out" and struggle to function as before. "Burnout" means a state of physical and emotional exhaustion, which can even manifest as depression symptoms. Read more about this in our section Depression and healthy coping mechanisms.

NOTES

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Relationships

Denial can frustrate the best of us, so how can people “test” their relationships to see if it's good or bad for them?

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EMERGENCY MEASURES

If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health problems, we suggest the following options:
  1. call your GP (if available);
  2. go to your nearest hospital emergency room;
  3. call one of the following emergency numbers: SADAG (the South African Depression and Anxiety Group) 24-hour helpline: 0800 12 13 14 or suicide crisis line: 0800 567 567; or
  4. contact Wie is ek?