Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Common Behavioral Health Disorders In Women

Behavioral health disorders can affect men, women and children. Many people suffer from behavioral health disorders for years without proper diagnosis and treatment. Although these disorders do not discriminate between men and women, and occur to people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds, there are significant differences in the risk for developing certain disorders between men and women. Women are at high risk for developing disorders like substance abuse, depression and anxiety, while men are more likely to suffer from disorders such as schizophrenia and PTSD.
Most Common Behavioral Health Disorders in Women
Panic Disorder
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), approximately 2.4 million people in the United States suffer from panic disorder. In addition, women are twice as likely as men to have panic disorder. Panic disorder often accompanies other disorders, such as depression and can prevent a woman from living a healthy normal life. Depression is a serious disorder that can affect every aspect of a woman's life. It can make it difficult for a woman to maintain healthy relationships or experience the joy in her life. Women in general are more likely than men to experience depression, although the reasons are unknown. Studies show that one in eight women will experience some form of depression during her lifetime. Certain behavioral health disorders, including postpartum depression can affect only women.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder is in a class of disorders known as anxiety disorders. It is estimated that 5.2 million adults in the United States have PTSD. Although commonly associated with men, women are also at high risk for developing PTSD. PTSD normally occurs as a result of a traumatic event - including abuse, violence or danger to a loved one.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Often anxiety occurs for no apparent reason. When this happens it is often referred to as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Women are two times more likely to develop this disorder than men. Approximately 4 million adults in the US suffer from this type of anxiety disorder.
Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are particularly dangerous to a woman's health. These behavioral health disorders can have seriously debilitating long-term health effects on a woman's body. Many women seek help from eating disorders every year, most commonly anorexia, bulimia and binge eating.
Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse
Between 30 and 40 percent of Americans suffering from alcoholism are women. In fact, alcoholism in women is on the rise. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reports women face a higher risk of alcoholism than men do.
Many women struggle with making the choice to commit to themselves and seek treatment for behavioral health disorders. Some women find that goal setting is helpful and milestones can help them envision their achievements and make the path to sobriety more manageable.

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