Worldwide, women face a different set of obstacles, stressors, and opportunities than their male counterparts. These differences range from sub‐Saharan Africa and Asia, where there is less than an 80% ratio of girls to boys enrolled in primary education, to Western countries, where women often have very successful careers that they must balance with family responsibilities ( Stewart 2001 ). Even though the female experience is drastically different in different regions of the world, psychiatric research has found that women across the globe suffer from similar psychiatric disorders. For example, women are more likely to be diagnosed with unipolar depression, somatoform disorders, eating disorders, and anxiety disorders, including posttraumatic stress disorder ( Blehar, 2006 ). In fact, arguably the most robust data in psychiatric epidemiology has found that women are approximately two times as likely as men to experience an episode of depression in their lifetime. Cognizant of the global significance of depressive disorders in women, this issue of Asia‐Pacific Psychiatry focuses on these disorders experienced in various important stages of a woman's reproductive life. From menarche to pregnancy to perimenopause to postmenopause, women transition through these stages of life regardless of education, financial status, and employment opportunities.
Asia-Pacific Psychiatry – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 2010