Happy New Year she says midway into the 1st quarter of 2022 lol! This year came at me fast! New Year's resolutions are not really my thing but this year, however, I made a promise to myself and scores of young women and girls that I would remain commited to 'the walk'. This means this year my resolution is to be much more consistent, more intentional and hopefully more impactful with The walk with Women & Children!
This week is Children's Mental Health Week (7-13 February 2022). This year's theme is Growing Together and children (and adults) are being encouraged to considered how they have grown and how they can help others to grow.
Thus, in addition to the above and in memory of Miss USA #Chesli Kryst, I would like to dedicate this week's post to being more aware of our mental health status. Chesli was Miss USA 2019, an accomplished American television correspondent and a committed lawyer. She was described by those who knew her as 'as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside'. She came across extremely bubbly in every clip that one was able to find of her with what seemed like an endless channel of positive energy. To the surprise of many, Chesli took her own life on the 30th January 2022 by leaping to her death from a 60 storey building. Her death devasted many but it was the cause of her actions that sent shockwaves across the world. Chesli's mother came out to state that days to her death she revealed to her family that she was suffering from high-functioning depression.
#Depression is clinically defined as 'a low mood that lasts for weeks or months and affects your daily life with symptoms including feeling unhappy or hopeless, low self-esteem and finding no pleasure in things you'd usually enjoy.'
Women are nearly twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with depression or up to 1 in 4 women are likely to have an episode of major depression at some point in life. Unfortunately, nearly two-thirds do not get the help they need. The National Institute of Health states that reproductive, genetic or other biological factors; interpersonal factors; and certain psychological and personality charactersitcs can contribute to this. Depression can occur at any age as shown below :
Puberty: We all remember what puberty was like for us- the temporary mood swings, changes in our bodies, identity & seuxal issues, conflicts with parents and an increasing pressure to succeed in school or sports or even social settings. Hormone changes during puberty may increase some girls' risk of developing depression. After puberty, depression rates are higher in females than in males as girls reach puberty before boys do.
Premenstrual problems: PMS is a real and serious thing! Some of the sympotms are abdominal bloating, breast tenderness, irritability, anxiety and low moods. Some females even suffer severe symptoms and this is where PMS crosses into PMDD (Premenstural dysphoric disorder) - a type of depression that generally requires treatment.
Pregnancy: one of the most difficult times in the female journey saddled with substantial hormonal changes that can affect one's mood which increases the risk of developing depression.
Postpartum depression: one of the more difficult to diagnose due to the stigma of feeling or being classed as 'less maternal' than others, occurs in 10-15% of women. It is often associated with major hormonal fluctuations that influence moods, poor social support, responsibility of caring for newborn or pregnancy, birth and infant complications.
Perimenopause and menopause: Risk of depression may increase during the transition to menopause, a stage called perimenopause, when hormone levels may fluctuate erratically. Depression risk may also rise during early menopause or after menopause — both times when estrogen levels are significantly reduced.
Life circumstances and culture: The higher rate of depression in women isn't due to biology alone. These cultural stressors can include:
Unequal power and status. Women are much more likely than men to live in poverty with decreased access to community and health care resources. These issues can cause feelings of negativity and low moods.
Work overload. Often women work and still raise children and handle home responsibilities. Many women deal with the challenges of single parenthood, such as working multiple jobs to make ends meet.
Sexual or physical abuse. Women who were emotionally, physically or sexually abused as children or adults are more likely to experience depression at some point in their lives than those who weren't abused. Women are more likely than men to experience sexual abuse.
Your mental health status is so important, you are NOT your job, your duties or your responsibilities - you are YOU first. This means that it is paramount that you are keeping yourself and your health first so that you can be a better and more stable contributor to society. Please ladies, let's pledge to place great importance on our minds, our moods and our surroundings.
You are so important and matter even when you feel that you don't. We need you and your magic and we cannot afford to lose anymore wonderful souls. I have attached helplines below (in no particular order) for if you feel that you need assistance or treatments or just someone to talk to:
I hope you are resting perfectly Chesli! Thank you for your light!
Governing Hearts since the'90's,