Millions of Americans battle disease daily. Due to numerous societal factors, many people suffer in silence — particularly women.
Even today, women patients continue to face dismissal from their doctors, even when they present with symptoms typical of well-known illnesses. It can take years of frustration and countless hours of missed work merely to reach a diagnosis, let alone a cure. Therefore, it often falls upon us as patients to educate ourselves about the top women’s health issues and take proactive steps to protect our own well-being.
Even though experts classify depression as a mental health disorder, it has physical consequences as well as emotional effects. Some people with depression don’t feel the stereotypical sadness at all — but they do feel constant aches and pains like headaches and cramps. The condition often creates sleep disturbances as well. Patients may find it impossible to sleep at night, but struggle to rise in the morning.
Tragically, depression can kill. Suicide remains the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Even though men die by suicide at higher rates than women, women attempt the act more frequently. Researchers posit that this is partially because men tend to opt for more violent means such as firearms.
Women also have to contend with depression spurred by hormones. While many women experience a mild case of the blues at particular times of the month, those with premenstrual dysphoric disorder can experience drastic mood swings the week or two before their menstrual period.