Women and Depression – 6th World Congress on Women’s Mental Health

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Women and Depression – 6th World Congress on Women’s Mental Health

This blog post is a brief review of the ‘Depression’ topics at the 6th World Congress on Womens Mental Health, which recently held in Tokyo, Japan. Women are twice as likely to develop depression compared to their male counterparts. Depression in women was covered in detail at the Congress.

Some of the topics covered were working women and the problems that they have – with the dual responsibility of work and family. One of the Japanese professors Prof. Toshiko Kamo presented a fascinating talk on Women’s Mental Health in Japan, showing how women move through different psychological stages in their life. Dr Susan Kornstein presented an overview of the female hormonal life cycle and how it related to mood disorders.

There was a major focus on mood disorders and anxiety disorders in pregnancy looking in detail at the risks of taking psychiatric medication in pregnancy versus the risks of not taking medication in pregnancy.

I recreated this image based on both Dr. Kornstein and Prof Kamo’s lectures. It is a flow chart that moves through a females life. In orange at the top are all the events that are hormonally related, e.g., starting menstruation, PMS, PMDD, pregnancy, and menopause. Each of the different areas on this chart in each age group – are areas of stress which many women experience and make them more vulnerable to developing a mood disorder.

It takes quite a few sessions, but I tend to recreate a chart like this for all of my female patients ‘in my mind’ to get a better understanding of who they are. It is a useful process to help conceptualize an individual’s life story.


Click on the image to see it in more detail