Tuesday 9 May 2017

Marla Ahlgrimm on Women’s Mental Health

Marla Ahlgrimm
In honor of National Women’s Health Week, Marla Ahlgrimm discusses ways women can take care of their mental health and why many who suffer with issues go undiagnosed.

Q: Why should women pay attention to their mental health?

Marla Ahlgrimm: If a woman doesn’t take care of herself, both mentally and physically, her overall health and wellness can be at risk. As an example, a woman experiencing major depression may suffer with insomnia, weight fluctuations, and loss of interest in spending time with her family and other previously-pleasurable activities. This can trigger a cyclic pattern of depression and anxiety which can take a major toll on a woman’s well-being.

Q: Do you have any general tips on staying mentally fit?

Marla Ahlgrimm: One of the most important things I advocate is getting plenty of sleep and eating a balanced diet. Getting enough physical activity is also important, since it helps keep the body healthy, which does wonders for the mind. Take the time to do something every day that gives you pleasure, whether it is running, knitting, reading, or simply looking at the stars.

Q: What are some easy ways to help manage stress?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Different women experience stress in different ways. However, a few things that all women can do every day to keep their mind clear include guided imagery, self-talk, exercise, meditation. Seeking emotional support from family and friends is also vital to a woman’s mental health.

Q: Why is there a social stigma attached to mental health disorders, especially in women?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Society tends to expect women to have it all and to take everything with grain of salt. For instance, women are often expected to raise a family while nurturing a career. When this isn’t possible or desirable, women can feel separated and chastised. Women with mental health issues find it extremely difficult to get help because they fear how they will be viewed by their friends and family if they are forced to admit weakness.


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