Female Hormones: The Mental Health Misconception

Do you ever feel that your body is gaslighting you? Questioning if you may be going crazy or if there is something physically wrong with you? Maybe both?

If so, you aren’t alone.

Stats: According to the Agenda Alliance “26% of young women experience a Common Mental Disorder, such as anxiety or depression – almost three times more than young men. 1 in 7 young women (16-24) have PTSD (compared with 3.6% of young men). 72% of those in suicide counselling with NSPCC are girls.” Women between the ages of 16 and 24 are almost three times as likely (26%) to experience a common mental health issue as males of the same age

This is likely because female hormones shift much more than male hormone patterns, which allows for conception, child baring, nursing and more. Women were designed to have a complex hormonal system. So, what happens in a modern world environment of excessive, multi-faceted stress? Hormones suffer. And, when hormones suffer, mental health follows.

The problem goes even further unfortunately, the western medical system is designed to treat symptoms and most OBGYN’s aren’t digging into mental health with their patience. Primary physicians are quick to run to SSRI’s and hormonal birth control in an attempt to “treat” complaints of anxiety, depression, PMS, PMDD (severe PMS like episodes) and more. Most doctors don’t pull hormone panels or analyze the functional health of female patients, leaving many believing that there is simply something “wrong” with their brain. In reality, functional medicine practitioners, utilizing hormone testing and in-depth analysis first, are often helping their clients regain their mental health, often without the usage of prescription drugs.

So where do we start? Firstly, get yourself a well trusted Functional Medicine Doctor, preferably one well versed in hormone health. Get some thorough labs done. Next, work on your Gut Health and healthy coping mechanisms for stress (stress is a MAJOR culprit of hormonal dysregulation) and get a good, supportive community. Check out this month’s Buddha Belly Life Podcast for more in-depth info on this topic with Coach Britt HERE