Mental health issues likely to strike women in 20s and 30s
“I’m actually happier with my body now…because the body I have now is the body I’ve worked for. I have a better relationship with it. From a purely aesthetic point of view, my body was better when I was 22, 23. But I didn’t enjoy it. I was too busy comparing it to everyone else’s.”
Former supermodel Cindy Crawford spoke about something which possibly thousands of young women in their early 20s experience. And such emotions are not restricted to body image issues – women in their 20s and 30s undergo hormonal changes and are often confronted with difficult decisions related to their education, career, marriage, children and the direction in which their lives are moving. It is quite usual for mental illnesses to emerge during this period. Past traumatic experiences, family environment and other external factors also influence the onset or aggravation of mental disorders.
Women susceptible to myriad mental health-related problems
Due to biological and other factors, women in their 20s and 30s may experience myriad mental health-related problems. Some of the more commonly occurring disorders include:
- Depression and anxiety: Although these are two separate mental illnesses, the symptoms of depression may often be similar to those of anxiety disorders. More importantly, women often tend to ignore symptoms of both these disorders. Typical triggers include issues related to career, relationships, fast-paced lifestyle and stress. In young women, depression may also manifest independently as sadness, worthlessness and guilt.
- Eating disorders: Despite being typically associated with teens, eating disorders can affect both older men and women. The symptoms may first appear during early adulthood or can be a relapse of an adolescent eating disorder. Unfair comparisons on social media, along with the inability to deal with stress, low self-esteem and body image issues can trigger eating disorders among young adult women.
- Bipolar disorder: Genetic factors influence the development of bipolar disorder, but stress also plays a part. Although men and women are equally affected, women are more prone to bipolar II disorder, mixed episodes, bipolar depression and rapid-cycling bipolar disorder. According to past research, women face significant delays in treatment, up to 11 years, due to delayed diagnosis.
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): ADHD is a condition not restricted to children and teens, although the onset of the disorder takes place at a younger age. Previous research showed that the use of ADHD drugs has increased substantially among adults, with the largest increase (85 percent) being observed among women aged between 26 and 34 years.
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): Many women experience physical and emotional discomfort in the days just before and after their menstrual period. However, for some women, the premenstrual symptoms are so severe that they result in significant mental distress and interfere with normal life functions – this is diagnosed as PMDD. Although symptoms tend to be trivialized, nearly 15 percent women with PMDD attempt suicide.
- Addictive behavior: The stress of an adult life can lead to the development of habit-forming and addictive behaviors for alcohol and other substances. A recent study found that women in younger age groups were overtaking their male peers in alcohol The surge is due to the distortion of alcohol-related facts and the normalization of women’s excessive drinking in American culture.
- Schizophrenia: Nearly 1 percent of American adults are affected by schizophrenia. While the onset takes place during the late teens or early 20s in men, schizophrenia often first appears during the 20s or early 30s in women.
Seeking help for mental disorders
Young women should not ignore or trivialize symptoms of any mental illnesses. In most cases, early interventions are effective in alleviating symptoms and even treating many of the disorders. Untreated mental disorders can prevent a person from leading a normal life and can act as risk factors for substance abuse, suicidal ideation and completed suicide.
Any treatment for mental disorders must be customized to suit the needs of men and women differently. Recover Mental Health experts can help you locate the best rehab for women offering evidence-based treatment. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-593-2339 or chat online with one of our experts to know about the best women’s rehab centers for mental health disorders in your vicinity.