Skip to content
By appointment only. (561) 926-7858 •

5 Major Life Events That Impact Women’s Mental Health

OverviewMental Health

  • Psychological distress
  • Depression (more common in women)
  • Rape (#1 trigger of PTSD)
  • Childhood sexual abuse (major contributor to PTSD
  • Suicide attempts (women attempt suicide 2-3x more often than men do)
  • Eating disorders

“Mental health issues widely affect both men and women, so regardless of gender, we should all be taking our mental health seriously. That said, there are certain mental health issues that affect women most, and this is due to a mixture of biological factors, (women develop less serotonin than men do and our bodies process it slower) socio-cultural influences, (workplace inequality, body shaming, and the pressure to “have it all”), as well as the fact the we have statistically higher chances of experiencing sexual abuse, domestic violence, rape, and attempted rape in our lifetime. It’s clear that if you’re female, it’s imperative that you educate yourself on the gender-specific mental health risks women face.


In every age group, women were more likely to have serious psychological distress than men.


The 7 Reasons Why Depression is More Common in Women

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, (ADAA) women are also twice as likely to develop General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), panic disorder, and certain phobias than men are. Again, this is largely attributed to that same unfortunate trifecta of biological, socio-cultural, and psychological reasons that we talked about above.


While Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is more commonly associated with men (particularly men who have seen active military duty), of the 7.7 million Americans who suffer from PTSD, women are actually twice as likely to develop the disorder following a traumatic event than men are.

This could be because rape is the number one trigger of PTSD, and nearly one in five women will be raped in their lifetime, whereas statistics show that only one in 33 men (which is obviously still a horrible number) will be raped in their lifetime.

Nearly 1 In 5 Women Are Raped In Their Lifetimes, Says Report

Childhood sexual abuse is another major contributor to lifetime struggles with PTSD, and a sickening 82 percent of juvenile sexual abuse victims are girls.

Suicide Attempts

Though men die from suicide four times as often as women do — 77.9 percent of suicides in the U.S. are male — women actually attempt suicide two to three times more often than men do. According the CDC’s research, women are more likely to have suicidal thoughts, (undoubtedly because we’re more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and PTSD).


Eating Disorders | HealthyWomen

While men also suffer from eating disorders, it’s no surprise that women make up 85 percent of all anorexia and bulimia cases and 65 percent of all binge-eating disorder cases. Women are conditioned from childhood to strive for “perfect” bodies, we’re taught to compare our bodies to those of other women, and we’re encouraged from early on in life to compete with each other for the attention of men. We’re bombarded with images of what we’re all “supposed” to look like, and society starts to sexualize us before we’ve even reached the far side of puberty. So, unsurprisingly, women suffer from eating disorders the most — and since anorexia is the deadliest mental illness out there, eating disorders should be taken seriously

The Top 5 Most Stressful Life Events | “Healthy@UH” Health Articles | University Hospitals | Cleveland, OH | University Hospitals

Mental Health Issues in Women – Women’s Health Center –

NIMH » Women and Mental Health

Stress of major life events impacts women more than men, shows poll of 2,000 people: Modern life stressors affect heart, brain, and nervous system — ScienceDaily

Holmes- Rahe Stress Inventory – The American Institute of Stress

WHO | Ten top issues for women’s health