The Past and Present of Women’s Mental Health Issues and Diagnosis

The history on women’s mental health has been a varied and biased. What is more is that diagnosis are still biased toward women and include a stigma attached to them as well.  Early diagnosis and treatments included barbaric and even inhumane methods while attaching the identifier of demon to those plagued by mental health illness and even deeming that women were weak and easily influenced. Hippocrates was the first to identify mental health issues as more scientific than spiritual, and as a result, the classification of the illness began to evolve.  Although treatments are no longer inhumane and barbaric, the issue of diagnosis bias remains. APA task forces have evaluated and re-evaluated the bias of diagnosis yet the current edition of the DSM is still argued that biases exist. Statistically, women are diagnosed more than men when it comes to depressive or mood disorders in the current day and questions are being posed as to why and what the justification may be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keywords: mental health, mental illness, women’s mental health, history of women’s metal health, diagnosis gender bias, DSM, treatment, gender, bias

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outline

 

  1. History of Women’s Mental Health
  2. Diagnosis (Tasca, Rapetti, Carta, Fadda 2012)
    1. Magical
    2. Scientific
  3. Beliefs (Tasca, Rapetti, Carta, Fadda 2012)
    1. Uterus movement
    2. Hysteria
  4. Early Treatments (Stanley 2016)
    1. Natural remedies
    2. Exorcism
    3. Death
  5. Treatment Evolution (Stanley 2016)
    1. Lobotomy
    2. Sterilizarion
    3. Clitoridectomy
    4. Workhouse/Madhouse/Asylum
    5. Purgeing, bloodletting, blistering

 

  1. Present Day Women’s Mental Health
  1. Common Diagnosis (Sprock, Yoder 1997)
    1. Depression
    2. Anxiety
    3. Mood disorder
  2. Diagnosis Gender Bias (Pryor 1996)
    1. APA task force
    2. Biased Task Force
  3. DSM issues (Skodol, Bender 2003; Hallett 2015; Eriksen, Kress 2008; Rossler 2010)
    1. Symbiotic contact with mother
    2. Weak and damaged self

 

III. Conclusion

 

Early women’s mental health was not considered a disease as it is today.  Often times, it was deemed that the woman was possessed, a demon, or a witch and they were often exorcised or put to death due to the lack of understanding that mental health illness was not the uterus moving around the body.  As scientific understanding somewhat advanced, treatments did not become any more civilized. Diagnosis was always geared toward women and it seems as though that even with updated of diagnosis and DSM controversy and reviews, the bias still remains.

 

 

 

 

References

 

Gove, W. R. (1972). The Relationship Between Sex Roles, Marital Status, and Mental Illness. Social Forces,51(1), 34-44. doi:10.1093/sf/51.1.34

 

A Beautiful Mind: The History of the Treatment of Mental Illness. (2016, September 21). Retrieved March 08, 2017, from http://historycooperative.org/a-beautiful-mind-the-history-of-the-treatment-of-mental-illness/

 

Eriksen, K., & Kress, V. E. (2008). Gender and Diagnosis: Struggles and Suggestions for

Counselors. Journal of Counseling & Development,86(2), 152-162. doi:10.1002/j.1556-6678.2008.tb00492.x

 

Gove, W. R., & Tudor, J. F. (1973). Adult Sex Roles and Mental Illness. American Journal of Sociology,78(4), 812-835. doi:10.1086/225404

 

Hallett, K. (2015). Intersectionality and Serious Mental Illness—A Case Study and Recommendations for Practice. Women & Therapy,38(1-2), 156-174. doi:10.1080/02703149.2014.978232

 

Holden, C. (1986). Proposed new psychiatric diagnoses raise charges of gender bias. Science,231(4736), 327-328. doi:10.1126/science.3941899

 

Riecher-Rossler, A. (2007). Prospects for the classification of mental disorders in women. European Psychiatry,22. doi:10.1016/j.eurpsy.2007.01.008

 

Skodol, A. E., & Bender, D. S. (2003). Why Are Women Diagnosed Borderline More Than Men? Psychiatric Quarterly,74(4), 349-360. doi:10.1023/a:1026087410516

 

Sprock, J., & Yoder, C. Y. (1997). Women and depression: An update on the report of the APA task force. Sex Roles,36(5-6), 269-303. doi:10.1007/bf02766649

 

Tasca, C., Rapetti, M., Carta, M. G., & Fadda, B. (2012). Women And Hysteria In The History Of Mental Health. Retrieved March 08, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3480686/