Stress management for aging women
As women age, they face many barriers to maintaining positive mental health that can stem from an increase in the amount of stress that has accumulated through the years. This stress may come from concerns for their financial future, helping their children launch into adulthood and caring for elderly parents. When combined with the physical changes women experience as they age, this stress can have a powerful impact on a woman’s mental health.
In a 2014 study of middle aged women ages 45 to 60 years old, 54 percent reported moderate to high levels of stress and 32 percent reported moderate levels of stress. Increased stress can lead to new mental health issues or be a trigger for a previous mental health conditions that had been stable. A woman may find herself dealing with a mood disorder such as depression or an anxiety disorder for the first time in her life. Forty-four percent of women in this same study reported moderate levels depression.
Fortunately, individual therapy combined with positive coping techniques can help a woman regain balance in her life. A 2013 study in World Psychiatry reported treatment with talk therapy versus medication were found to be equally effective.
If stress is having a negative impact on your mood, talking with a mental health expert may provide the relief you need. At Mercy Comfort Health Center for Women, therapy is available for women of all ages and stages in life.
Denise Edwards, MSW, LISW, is a licensed independent social worker providing mental health therapy services at Mercy Comfort Health Center for Women. Learn more.