On Monday, May 12, 2014, Dr. Katherine Wisner, Director of the Asher Center for Research and Treatment of Depressive Disorders at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, was a featured television guest on WCIU, The U. Dr. Wisner discussed sex differences in mental health (particularly in depression and anxiety). She stated that women are twice as likely to have an episode of depression or anxiety than men. This increased risk for women begins at puberty and can be particularly elevated during menstrual cycles and after childbirth. In fact, 5% of women have very severe mood problems right before their period; this is called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and can cause women to become highly irritable with fluctuating moods. Furthermore, Dr. Wisner stated that 1 out of 7 postpartum women undergo depression, as the hormone fluctuation leaves women very vulnerable to depression.
Dr. Wisner emphasized that it is important for women to seek treatment if they feel that they may be suffering from depression or anxiety, as there are treatments available that do work. No women should have to feel depressed or anxious, and it is therefore important to understand how your body and your mind work together for your overall health. Click here to watch the full WCIU feature with Dr. Katherine Wisner.