Situation and trends
Mental health problems, particularly depression, are major causes of disability for women of all ages. While the causes of mental ill-health may vary from one individual to another, women’s low status in society, their burden of work and the violence they experience are all contributing factors. Since adolescence is a time of social, emotional and physical change, it is perhaps not surprising to find that young women are at significant risk of mental health problems such as unipolar depressive disorders, schizophrenia and bipolar disorders.
While women are less likely than men to suffer from alcohol and drug use disorders, they are more susceptible to depression and anxiety. An estimated 73 million adult women worldwide suffer a major depressive episode each year. Mental disorders following childbirth, including postpartum depression, are estimated to affect about 13% of women within one year of delivery.