Women are struggling. Let’s admit it. We are struggling.
On top of that, 67 per cent of women say they’re regularly feeling nervous, anxious or on edge.
This means that having mental health issues is starting to become the norm for women.
Women are being told they need to take better care of themselves, mentally and physically. But is this really the message we should be taking home from these statistics? Surely the bigger question is: Why are so many women feeling anxious and depressed and what can be done about it?
Janet Michelmore, the director of Jean Hailes For Women’s Health, says women are juggling so much right now.
“Many of them are in full-time work, often there are children to look after, ageing parents, as well as relationship demands,” she tells Mamamia.
“We read quite often that if both parents are working full time, the domestic load is more taken up by the women.”
She says triggers for anxiety and depression include work stress, pregnancy and birth, death of someone close, and family and relationship problems. There’s also the “very concerning statistic” of emotional and physical abuse.
Michelmore believes that the issues of unequal domestic load and emotional and physical abuse are both being talked about more than they used to be.
“This won’t change overnight,” she adds. “Change is a long-term proposition.”
She believes women need to focus on their mental fitness, so that they’re better able to cope with things that life throws at them.
“Self care is not selfishness,” she says.
But still, that’s throwing it back to women. We’re supposed to prepare more healthy food and do more exercise and relax more and go to the doctor more often. How do we find the time, if nothing around us is changing, or only changing very slowly?
Mamamia Helps: How to talk to people with anxiety, we made a handy guide.