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Statistics on Mental Health & Women
- Women were more likely than men to have undergone any type of mental health treatment, according to data from the 2019 National Health Interview Survey.1
- Compared to males, women are more likely to have taken medicine for their mental health.
- Women were nearly two times as likely as men to experience depressive symptoms in the past year.2
- According to U.S. Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch research, women who serve in the military are diagnosed with anxiety at a rate that is 1.4 times higher than that of men.3
- A woman is three to four times more likely to experience depression due to their exposure to violence.
- Women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with panic disorder (PD) and specific phobias.
- Women typically wait four years from the onset of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms before seeking care, according to the Office of Women’s Health.4
- An eating disorder affects women about ten times more frequently than it does males.
- Women of color experience more significant stigma while seeking treatment for a mental health condition.
- According to CDC data, postpartum depression affects around 1 in 8 women who have just given birth to a live baby.
- Peripartum depression affects one in seven women, according to estimates.5
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental disorders, especially depression, affect 10% of pregnant women globally and 13% of women who have just given birth. Furthermore, according to WHO estimates, postpartum depression affects 20% of mothers in underdeveloped nations, where the issue is most severe.
- Women who identify as lesbians or bisexual (especially younger women) are more likely than other women to take drugs or engage in heavy or binge drinking.6,7
- Although borderline personality disorder affects about 2% of adults, it disproportionately affects younger women than any other demographic.
Common Reasons Women Seek Therapy
Over 29 million women in America today—roughly 23% of the population—struggle with mental illness. Women’s issues cover a wide range of diseases and mental health challenges they may experience throughout their lives. These encompass any matter affecting a woman’s mental health and could be about preconceptions or stereotypes based on gender, as well as concerns about health. While some are unique to women’s experiences, others can impact people of all sexes. Nevertheless, women may experience them differently.
Women may encounter particular biological, environmental, and psychosocial difficulties because of their gender, and these issues may seriously affect their mental health and general well-being. However, with the aid of a mental health expert, therapy treatment can frequently address these problems and many others.
Some of the most common issues include:
- Eating disorders
- Postpartum depression
- Bipolar disorder
- Borderline personality
- Domestic violence
- Sexual abuse
- Hormonal changes
- Low self-esteem/self-worth
What Happens in Therapy for Women?
Since patients and psychologists work closely, finding the correct match is vital. This is known as the “therapeutic alliance.” In addition, it’s essential to be open and honest about feelings, relationships, and other personal difficulties you may be facing.
There are many different women’s therapy options, depending on the types of issues you are seeking to address, including, but not limited to:
- Psychodynamic Therapy
- Couples counseling
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
- Humanistic Therapy
- Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)
- Arts or Creative Therapies
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
You may need to choose a therapist covered by your insurance plan if you intend to use insurance to pay for women’s counseling. Filling out our free and confidential online insurance verification form is the best method to determine the specifics of your therapy insurance coverage.
Expect your first trip to the therapist’s office to resemble a visit to the doctor. When you arrive, you’ll check in and wait for someone to call your name while sitting in the waiting area. The setting might be a little more relaxed if your therapist works from home.8
You will likely complete some paperwork while you wait, such as:
- HIPAA forms
- Information about insurance
- Medications you’re taking now and your medical history
- Assessment of your symptoms
- Record release form
- Agreement between a therapist and a patient
You can answer the questions orally with your therapist if you don’t feel comfortable answering them on paper. You might also be able to finish this paperwork at home before your initial visit.
The therapist’s initial appointment with you will be distinct from future ones. The first appointment is a time for you and your therapist to get to know one another and determine the best course of treatment. Future appointments will focus more on therapy. For instance, you can focus on a particular symptom, issue, or previous trauma raised in your first session during your second appointment.
In addition, medication may be prescribed or recommended at some point during treatment. This depends on the severity of the issue(s) and any potential diagnosis, such as anxiety.
It’s important to keep in mind that therapy is not a quick fix. It requires multiple sessions to reach optimal results.
Things to Consider When Seeking Therapy for Women
While working with female therapists is not required, finding a therapist familiar with the challenges women face when seeking mental health care could be beneficial. This can be especially crucial for women from underrepresented groups or underserved communities. Counseling for women is most effective when you feel secure, at ease, and accepted.
You’ll probably find a string of letters following mental health professionals’ names while searching for therapists for women. This is because many licensing authorities require physicians to indicate their degree (Masters, Doctorate, or Medical Doctorate) in addition to their license.
Each degree varies in terms of requirements. For example, a practicing clinician with LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) credentials in Tennessee has completed a master’s degree in social work and at least 3,000 hours of clinical experience. At least 100 hours included direct supervision, and 60 were one-on-one.9 And a psychologist (usually with a Ph.D. or PsyD) has training in many forms of psychotherapy and psychological assessment.
In addition to their credentials, asking the right questions will help you choose the best therapist for you. Some questions to ask before you make an appointment might include:
- What professional associations are you a part of?
- What’s your academic background?
- What kind of training did you have to become a therapist?
- How much do you charge? Do you accept insurance?
- Some therapists will offer a sliding scale payment based on your income if they don’t accept insurance. Ask about this.
- Tell me about any specialized training and/or experience you’ve got dealing with the problem I’m facing.
- What are your office protocols? (Scheduling appointments, paying for missed ones, handling crises, gaining access afterhours, cancellation notices, etc.)
- What kind of therapy do you provide? (Does the therapist offer opportunities beyond evidence-based talk therapy?)
When you go in for your first in-person appointment with your therapist, be prepared to talk about the specifics of your issue(s), what you’ve done thus far to cope with it, whether you’ve attempted therapy before, and how that experience went. Your therapist will likely also ask you about your treatment goals and details about your childhood. Many people struggle during their first therapy session, which is entirely normal.
Is Therapy Confidential?
Most of the time, a therapist maintains the confidentiality of the information disclosed during therapy. Confidential information, however, can be revealed with a person’s consent or as permitted by law, according to the American Psychological Association’s “Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct.”10
Tennessee law protects and ensures the confidentiality of communications with a therapist. Only your signed informed consent will allow the release of confidential information. In Tennessee, these confidentiality rules do have some exceptions, which are:11
- The protection of life is a clinician’s top priority. A therapist may breach your trust if you put yourself or others in danger.
- As required by law, your therapist will notify protection services of reports of sexual, physical, or both types of abuse against children.
- Serious Risk to Safety or Health
- If a judge issues a court order subpoenaing your medical records. Before the publication of those records, you will be informed so that you have time to consult a lawyer.
Behavioral Health Resources for Women
Mental health resources can offer various screening tools and advice on coping with an array of behavioral and mental health disorders. Among these resources for women are:
- The National Alliance for Mental Health (NAMH) offers a helpline staffed 24/7 by individuals who can respond to inquiries about mental health symptoms and treatments, assist family members, and provide contact details for local mental health resources.
- The Office of Women’s Health includes links to federal organizations that provide information on specific disorders and groups that help people and families affected by mental health issues.
- The WebMD depression support guide goes over how to start a support group by enlisting friends and family.
- For people and families dealing with mental and/or substance use disorders, SAMHSA‘s National Helpline provides free, confidential treatment referral and information services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (in English and Spanish). 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Phone Number: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Tennessee Hotline: 1-800-467-3589
- Athena Care’s multiple Mental health treatment clinics in Tennessee: (615) 320-1155
- 988 Suicide Prevention and Crisis Lifeline – Available 24 hours a day
- Terlizzi, Emily P., M. P. H., and Benjamin Zablotsky Ph. D. “Mental Health Treatment Among Adults: United States, 2019.” CDC.Gov, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Sept. 2020, www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db380.htm.
- “Depression | Office on Women’s Health.” Womenshealth.Gov, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 17 Feb. 2021, www.womenshealth.gov/mental-health/mental-health-conditions/depression.
- Regis College Online. “Women’s Mental Health 101: Statistics, Symptoms and Resources.” Regis College Online, 28 Oct. 2021, online.regiscollege.edu/blog/womens-mental-health.
- “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder | Office on Women’s Health.” Womenshealth.Gov, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services., 3 June 2021, www.womenshealth.gov/mental-health/mental-health-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder.
- “Psychiatry.Org – What Is Peripartum Depression (Formerly Postpartum)?” Psychiatry.Org, American Psychiatric Association, www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/postpartum-depression/what-is-postpartum-depression. Accessed 25 July 2022.
- Blosnich, John R., et al. “Health Inequalities Among Sexual Minority Adults.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, vol. 46, no. 4, 2014, pp. 337–49. Crossref, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2013.11.010.
- Green, Kelly E., and Brian A. Feinstein. “Substance Use in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Populations: An Update on Empirical Research and Implications for Treatment.” Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, vol. 26, no. 2, 2012, pp. 265–78. Crossref, https://doi.org/10.1037/a0025424.
- Schimelpfening, Nancy. “What to Expect During Your First Therapy Session.” Verywell Mind, Dotdash Media, Inc., 15 Dec. 2020, www.verywellmind.com/psychotherapy-101-p2-1067403.
- Writers, Staff. “Social Work Licensure in Tennessee | Find Accredited Programs.” SocialWorkLicensure.Org, 1 July 2019, socialworklicensure.org/state/social-work-licensure-tennessee.
- “Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct.” APA.Org, American Psychological Association, 1 June 2003, www.apa.org/ethics/code.
- “Confidentiality and Consent to Treatment.” Transitionscounseling.Net, www.transitionscounseling.net/storage/app/media/confidentiality-and-consent-to-treatment-transitions3.pdf. Accessed 21 July 2022.
If you suspect that you or someone you love suffers from mental health disorders, contact Athena Care today.
One of our friendly associates will help you get the help you need. Take this first step to feel better and take control.