Whether single episode or chronic, women are significantly more likely than men to experience depression and anxiety during their lives, often associated with changes in reproductive status, initiation of menses, during child-bearing years, and menopause. In addition, our role as primary caregivers make us more susceptible to the effects of economic change, societal upheaval, chronic health conditions, lifestyle changes and many different kinds of loss. Add to this the pressures of maintaining career balanced with care-giving, and risk factors further escalate. Mood disorders have their roots in biological, psychological and social realms. By targeting each contributing realm, therapy can empower women to quickly identify key issues exacerbating affective disturbance. It's crucially important to have a thorough initial assessment to determine causative factors. The earlier treatment is sought, the less the long-term suffering and the sooner repair can begin!
Career, Relationship and Lifestyle Challenges
For women, the stressors of balancing family life and career goals can be acute. Personal, intimate relationships can support or thwart professional goals. Societal expectations associated with mothering can bring unbearable feelings of guilt. Divorce, separation or relationships stress has direct impact on quality of life issues. Optimum negotiation of problem solving requires skillful evalution and generation of options. Deciding when to change positions, start a family, retire or end a relationship can bring distressing rumanative thoughts. My role as both a mental health professional and caregiving family member gives me a depth of experienced understanding in juggling such challenges! I reference your own internal wisdom when clarifying choices and creating next steps toward achievement of self-affirming goals while keeping guilt at bay! Together, we can negotiate and plan for milestone changes, the emphasis always on your individual requirements for creating a contented joyous life.
Grief, Loss and Chronic Health Issues
Life's inevitable and multiple losses can bring cumulative complicated grief which stresses our motivation to persevere toward cherished goals and also trigger latent depression and anxiety. Grieving can be acute and prolonged but greatly benefits from therapeutic support. Such losses include loved ones and family members, neo natal or still birth, miscarriage, loss of capacity or health, difficult role transitions such as empty nest syndrome, post divorce adjustment and the loss of companion animals. Making meaning of the loss and incorporating the experience through the creation of a legacy or enlisting new support during such transitions can more quickly bring healing and renewed commitment to life.
Trauma, Managing Difficult Emotions
Women are more likely than men to have suffered major trauma in their lives. Symptoms, feelings and negative assumptions from untreated sexual or emotional abuse, and other aversive life events can linger if intervention has not been pursued for these complex disorders. The resulting PTSD - which often goes misdiagnosed or undertreated - can make it challenging to manage emotions and fears which end up controlling the woman and limiting her choices. Through effective trauma treatment and the aquisition of skills to manage difficult emotional states, more peaceful relationships with self and others can be restored.