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By being informed on the stats and knowing strategies for overcoming mental health challenges, women can be more empowered to reclaim the fulfilling, enjoyable, and rich lives they so rightly deserve.

Mental Health Matters

Mental Health Disorders Disproportionally Affect Women  

Today, we’re sharing important new research on female mental and physical health. It may seem like common sense, but a recent study confirms that women suffering from depression and anxiety are also more likely to develop chronic diseases (ex: diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, cancer, etc.).

Depression and Anxiety are complex disorders. Due to their complex nature, researchers have struggled to find a direct link between anxiety, depression, and people aging or dying more quickly. However, research does point to evidence that anxiety, depression, and chronic conditions share biological processes. In other words, though more research needs to be done, investigators often see the impacts of mental health on physical health.

Most recently, researchers looked at two groups of people: those diagnosed with anxiety or depression (or both) and those with no diagnosis. Then, they followed both groups of people for 10 years. During that period, they studied both groups to see which group would be more likely to be diagnosed with a chronic disease.

Investigators also paid attention to the differences between men and women. They analyzed the data separately for women and men because there are known differences in the frequency of depression, anxiety, and several chronic conditions in men and women.

What were the results? If you are a woman or care about the women in your life, pay attention! If women suffered from depression in any age group, they had a higher risk of being diagnosed with a chronic disease later in life. This risk factor was even higher for women who were suffering from both anxiety and depression.

The same was true for men in the youngest cohort. Investigators could not see this connection as clearly in other male age groups. However, they questioned whether risk was only seen in the youngest cohort of men because the culture around male mental health has changed in younger generations.

Although there should be more research done related to men and mental illness, one thing is clear for women: Taking care of your mental health is also a way to take care of your physical health. Women who were not suffering from anxiety or depression were, overall, healthier in the long run. By being informed on the stats and knowing strategies for overcoming mental health challenges, women can be more empowered to reclaim the fulfilling, enjoyable, and rich lives they so rightly deserve.

Are you looking for ways to reduce stress and anxiety? Consider talking with your primary care physician, and check out other content about mental wellness below:

Daily Practices to Reduce Stress

The Impact of Loneliness on Physical and Mental Health

Find out more ways to support your health journey by subscribing to our health education blog.

Resources:

Residential Green Space and Cognitive Function in a Large Cohort of Middle-Aged Women

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