Makerere University Depression in Women Discussion

The psychosocial aspect of female health is just as important as the management of Diabetes and Hypertension. The World Health Organization (WHO, n.d.) addresses women’s mental health facts as follows:

  • Depressive disorders account for close to 41.9% of the disability from neuropsychiatric disorders among women compared to 29.3% among men.
  • Leading mental health problems of the older adults are depression, organic brain syndromes and dementias. A majority are women.
  • An estimated 80% of 50 million people affected by violent conflicts, civil wars, disasters, and displacement are women and children.
    Lifetime prevalence rate of violence against women ranges from 16% to 50%.
  • At least one in five women suffer rape or attempted rape in their lifetime. Select a mental health illness as a diagnosis for a female patient, perhaps one you have encountered in the clinical setting. Describe the illness, how is it treated? What is your follow-up? Discuss how the WHO’s comprehensive mental health action plan 2013 – 2020 addresses a strategy for change in the mental health illness you selected.

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Introduction:
Women’s mental health is an essential aspect of overall health that requires attention and care. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), women are more likely to suffer from depressive disorders than men, and they also bear the brunt of violent conflicts, civil wars, disasters, and displacement. This presents a significant challenge for healthcare providers, and it is essential to diagnose and treat mental health illnesses in female patients promptly. In this essay, I will discuss a mental health illness that affects female patients, outline its treatment, and explore how the WHO’s comprehensive mental health action plan addresses the diagnosis and treatment of this illness.

Answer:
One mental health illness that can affect female patients is postpartum depression (PPD), which is a mood disorder that occurs after childbirth. PPD can manifest in various ways, such as feelings of sadness, anxiety, and extreme fatigue. PPD can also lead to reduced appetite, guilt, and difficulty sleeping. Risk factors for PPD include a history of depression and anxiety, stressful life experiences, and hormonal changes after giving birth.

Treatment for PPD involves a combination of medication, psychotherapy, and social support. Antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are typically prescribed to manage symptoms of depression and anxiety. Psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), is used to provide emotional support and help patients develop coping strategies. Additionally, social support from friends, family, and peers can help alleviate stress and provide a safe space for discussion.

The WHO’s comprehensive mental health action plan 2013-2020 addresses PPD by calling for increased awareness about the condition and its risk factors. The plan advocates for the provision of accessible and affordable mental health services, including screening and early detection of PPD. The plan also calls for the integration of mental health services into primary health care, facilitating community-based care for patients with PPD. These interventions can help reduce stigma, improve access to treatment, and provide a better outcome for patients with PPD.

In conclusion, women’s mental health issues such as PPD have significant implications for their overall health. The diagnosis and treatment of such mental health conditions require a multidisciplinary approach, including medication, psychotherapy, and social support. The WHO’s comprehensive mental health action plan provides a framework for addressing these issues and ensuring that women receive the care and support they need.

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