Mental health issues can occur in anybody, regardless of gender and age. However, there are certain mental health disorders more prevalent in women. The female’s biology plays a role in mental health; hormonal changes and imbalance can affect brain chemistry, causing mental health and mood changes. Women are also more impacted by certain socio-cultural influences and disparities than men, leading to negative emotions that can impair mental health. Here’s a deeper look into the common mental health issues among women.


There are twice as many women experiencing depression than men due to hormone changes in puberty, premenstrual problems, pregnancy, and female-specific life circumstances. Postpartum depression occurs in about 10-15% of new mothers. Culture stressors also play a role as women are more likely to suffer from gender and status inequality and sexual and physical abuse. Women also have workload pressures, with society expecting women to be the ones to take care of children and family, despite working full-time jobs. Hormonal fluctuations may also trigger mental illnesses during perimenopause and menopause.


Testosterone, a hormone that helps ease anxiety symptoms, is more abundant in men. Because women’s hormone levels fluctuate during their menstrual cycles, they may experience phases during which they are low on the hormones that organize the stress response, making them more restless, tired, worried, and irritable.

Eating disorders

Anorexia, binge eating, and bulimia can occur in both genders. However, women are more vulnerable to eating disorders because women are statistically more susceptible to socio-cultural pressures than men. Objectification and sexualization are more common in women, leading to negative perceptions of the body.

Post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD)

Evidence shows that women are more likely to suffer from PTSD following a traumatic experience. While men are more likely to encounter physical assault, combat, injury, and accidents, women are more prone to traumatic experiences like sexual abuse, sexual assault, attempted rape, and rape. According to the RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), 90% of adult rape victims are women.

Suicidal ideation

Because women are more prone to mental health issues, they are also at higher risk for suicidal ideations. Interestingly, suicidal thinking is higher in women, yet suicide attempts and deaths by suicide are more prevalent in men. This leads to the cruel misunderstanding that women merely seek attention when they speak of ending their lives, when in reality, this tells us they often suffer in silence. By suppressing these emotions, women are more likely to resort to self-harming behavior.

Because research and experts recognize that mental health issues are more prevalent in women, we need to destigmatize conversations on these issues. Accepting that it’s “natural” for women to experience mental issues due to their biology only exacerbates the problem. Beyond supporting the unique needs of the female body, we should also be working on closing the socio-cultural gaps that result in mental health issues and introducing co-occurring disorders.

Should you have a mental health emergency, please call 911, go to your nearest emergency room, or call 1-866-837-7521 to be connected to Communicare’s mobile crisis team, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.