Common mental disorders on the rise among young women

stress-lady-wDisturbing new data from NHS Digital shows that one in five women reported a common mental disorder such as anxiety and depression in 2014, compared with one in eight men.

The study of mental health and wellbeing is based on research on 7,500 members of the public – just over 300 of them were women aged 16-24. The 2014 data showed the gender gap in mental illness had become most pronounced in young people, and had increased since the first survey in 1993.

Young women are the highest risk group in England for mental health problems, according to the data with this age group also showing high rates of self-harm and post-traumatic stress.

The BBC reported that one in six adults in England has a common mental disorder (CMD), according to the survey and mental health charities said the figures showed ‘nothing had improved’.

One in six adults in England has a common mental disorder (CMD), according to the survey.

The 2014 survey showed that women aged 16-24 were three times as likely to report symptoms of anxiety and depression as men (9%); more women in every age group reported symptoms in one week compared with men of the same age; and post-traumatic stress disorder was seen in 12.6% of women between 16 and 24 compared with 3.6% of men.

Commenting on the survey, Stephen Buckley, head of information at the mental health charity Mind, told the BBC: “Young people are coming of working age in times of economic uncertainty. They’re more likely to experience issues associated with debt, unemployment and poverty, and they are up against increasing social and environmental pressures, all of which affect well-being.”

Referring to a rise in the use of social media, which the survey also reflected, he added: “It can help people feel less isolated, particularly those who struggle to make and maintain relationships or who find it difficult to leave their homes.

“But it also comes with some risks. Its instantaneous and anonymous nature means it’s easy for people to make hasty and sometimes ill-advised comments that can negatively affect other people’s mental health.”

The study found medication was the most common form of treatment for all conditions, being taken by 10% of those interviewed, with 3% receiving psychological therapy.

One of the young women who took part in the survey said she was told by her GP to seek therapy but was also told it could take up to 18 weeks to receive the cognitive behavioural therapy treatment her GP had prescribed.

Clinical hypnotherapy can be more effective than medication in dealing with anxiety, depression and similar issues. Therapists who are registered with the National Council for Hypnotherapy are urged to join the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) – the UK voluntary regulator set up with government support to protect the public by providing a UK voluntary register of complementary therapists.

In treating people with anxiety and other CMDs, the NCH says: “A hypnotherapist can help assess the anxiety, identifying the root of stress or anxiety whether it is a situation, a physical issue, a past experience or a relationship.”

Using this information, the therapist will establish what goals the person wants to achieve in their mental life and work with them to reach these goals using a range of different techniques.

“After sessions with a hypnotherapist you may feel more confident; more relaxed in situations that have previously challenged you,” adds the NCH. “Many people say that they are calmer and that they have more clarity of thought – able to make decisions more easily.”

To enjoy an anxiety-free life why not contact an NCH hypnotherapist near you by clicking here. It can unlock the potential you have to break free of negative thought patterns and to react more positively and more confidently to situations in your life.