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  • Writer's pictureAkia Taylor

Navigating Mental Health: How Do Women Overcome the Struggles?

It’s the beginning of winter and the holiday season is near. We are counting the days before Christmas when we look forward to spending time with family and loved ones, buying presents, putting up the Christmas tree, and decorating it with lights and multicolored ribbons to add color to the already festive feeling made stronger by Christmas carols we hear on the radio and we watch on TV.

But for some strange reason, you do not feel the same about the season and what it brings. You constantly feel tired, have been having mood swings lately, and prefer to be alone and isolated.

According to the website Everyday Health, a recent survey done by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration ¹ 29 million American women, or about 23 percent of the female population, have experienced a diagnosable mental health-related disorder in the last year alone. And those are just the known instances.

Then it got me thinking, how are modern women taking care of their mental health? We are living in a fast-paced, demanding, technologically advanced, and unforgiving world nowadays. With the technology that we have, we can accomplish a lot of things, but this also gives us stress in thinking that we cannot make mistakes or risk harsh criticism and embarrassment from our peers as news can easily spread like wild fire with the use of social media.

Depression is one of the most common issues that women are facing now. 12% of women are most likely victims of depression than men who are at 6%. Anxiety also is very common as we are suffering from a great amount of stress at work and home. PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) also plays a role, where women who suffer are victims of a traumatic event.

There are many factors that affect these results as men and women have different physical components and biological make up. It is believed that because of this, women are at a higher risk of suffering from mental illnesses.

We all had bad days. There are times when we feel alone, sad for no particular reason, don’t want to interact with our friends and loved ones and we feel things that are often unreasonable if we think about it, but it just can’t seem to go away. Most of us do not know that we are already suffering from a mental illness because we think that we’re just “a bit under the weather” and that it can go away. As mothers, our needs are the least that we think about because we have a family to take care of, children to send to school, a job or jobs to fulfill in order to pay the bills, and a million other things. But what we do not realize is that we are slowly losing ourselves day by day because we neglect our own physical and mental needs.

I went through depression, and it was one of the most difficult things to face, especially when you are a mother who has kids who depend on you. As much as I would like to just lie down and wallow in my suffering, I had to get up and do what I had to do in order to support my family, and it hurts just the same. However, I can say it helped because being busy kept me from being depressed long enough that I would resort to self-harm.

From somebody who suffered and still healing, I want to let you know that you are not less human if you seek help. You have to remember that you have to help yourself first in order to help others. Remember, this too shall pass, and make sure that you believe in yourself enough to overcome this storm.

Reach out to your friends who are or you feel are dealing with the same issues. It is always nice to lend a helping hand to someone who needs it. Check up on your friends and loved ones, especially the ones who are strong and independent but are showing signs of suffering. In the end, we are women, we are versatile, pure, and strong, and together, we can make things better.



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