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Young women have the highest risk of mental health issues

Young women

(NaturalNews) Data that was recently released by NHS Digital shows that young women have the highest risk of mental health problems in England. According to the information, one out of every five women reported having a mental disorder like depression or anxiety in 2014; only one out of every eight men said the same. Moreover, young women had high rates of post-traumatic stress, bipolar disorders and incidents of self-harm. Overall, one out of every six British adults has a common mental disorder.

The study showed that the gender gap in mental illness was the widest in young people. This gap had widened since the first survey in 1993, when 19 percent of women and 8 percent of men aged 16 to 24 reported symptoms of a common mental disorder. In 2014, 26 percent of women and just 9 percent of men reported these issues, which means women in this age bracket were three times more likely to have symptoms of depression and anxiety.

A troubling 26 percent of young women say they have self-harmed, while 13 percent have post-traumatic stress disorder. Just 10 and 4 percent of men fall into the same categories respectively.

The information was taken from the National Study of Health and Wellbeing, which involved 7,500 people and is carried out every seven years. According to the CDC, similar trends are also seen in the U.S. population when it comes to gender and mental health.

Medication most common treatment

A rise in those seeking mental health treatment has also been noted. While just one in four people turned to experts for help in 2007, one in three were doing so in 2014. The most common treatment for all conditions was medication, with 10 percent of those surveyed turning to pills to help them cope.

This is an extremely troubling trend. As the proportion of the population taking antidepressants rises, society at large is poised to suffer. The heightened suicide risk caused by these pills can devastate families, and these medications have been connected to the perpetrators of a number of high-profile school shootings and other mass killings in recent years. The people going this route are also unlikely to note significant improvement, as a recent study showed that 13 of the 14 most commonly prescribed antidepressants worked no better than a placebo.

Social media to blame?

Something else that has arisen during this time period is the use of social media. While social media is sometimes touted as helping people feel more connected and less isolated, it can also have the opposite effect. Many people try to paint a misleadingly "perfect" picture of their lives on social media, causing others to fret about not measuring up. There is also tremendous pressure for girls in particular to look flawless in online photos, and there can also be a lot of mean-spirited talk that can shatter those already in fragile emotional states.

The head of information at Mind, a UK mental health charity, Stephen Buckley, said of social media: "Its instantaneous and anonymous nature means it's easy for people to make hasty and sometimes ill-advised comments that can negatively affect other people's mental health."

The findings of the NHS study are in keeping with a 2013 analysis of 12 broad epidemiological mental illness studies out of Oxford University, which found that women had as much as a 75 percent higher likelihood of suffering anxiety disorders and depression than men. This was true even after taking into account the fact that women are more likely than men to seek help for mental illness.

The majority of Brits are turning to medication to deal with mental health issues, possibly due to the marketing efforts of Big Pharma. Many women who are suffering from depression or anxiety don't realize that they have much safer options than antidepressants.

Some find that exercise takes the edge off as it releases endorphins that lift their spirits, with yoga being particularly beneficial. Others turn to cognitive behavioral therapy, art therapy such as coloring or painting, meditation, and spending time outdoors breathing clean air and observing natural beauty. Pharmaceutical companies might have you believe that their solutions are the only ones, but countless people – men and women alike – are noting benefits from natural treatments without any of the downright scary side effects of SSRIs, like opening fire on a crowd or taking their own lives.

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