So Many Crazy Ladies, Too Many PillsNovember 22, 2011 No Comments
More and more women are taking prescription medications to cope with depression, anxiety and a number of other mental illnesses.
As the battle with maintaining a healthy and balanced brain rages on, we can’t help but wonder: why women? A new report tells us that 25 percent of women are currently taking medications for their mental health compared to 15 percent of men. Does mental illness really favour women?
There’s no simple answer to why the statistics are skewed towards women. Some suggest it’s because women are more inclined to seek treatment when they’re faced with debilitating anxiety or depression and men are notoriously known for avoiding the doctor. And then there are those who can’t or fail to get the help they need.
If only fictional, there’s also a history of women and madness. Remember the “madwoman in the attic” motif popular in gothic fiction? Poor Bertha was lost and confined in la-la land while Mr. Rochester wooed Jane Eyre. Perhaps women are just the traditional target.
But for all the reasons we can dream up why women are crazier than men, the science of mental illness is far from exact.
Victoria Bekiempis suggests that since more women are impacted by sexual violence than men (one out of every six American women compared to three percent of men), they’re popping more pills. But severe trauma, and its subsequent psychological consequences, is one among plenty of reasons women are turning to medication to make them feel better. And of those women who are victims of sex crimes, some may choose counselling over medication.
All we really know is that, in general, a whole slew of people suffer from mental illness. For some, medication may be the best road to go down, but we must take into account over-diagnosis and those suffering in silence, perhaps ashamed of the stigma still attached to mental illness.
We must also dig deeper to find out why women are increasingly turning to medication and thoroughly explore the issues instead of haphazardly throwing out statistics and generalizing a widespread problem.
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