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Today’s men are well versed in the subject of “female troubles.” Women have no problem describing “that time of the month” in excruciatingly intimate detail to their significant others. Hell, men these days will even go out and buy tampons for their girlfriends (and to that, I salute you).
Even though men empathize, they still will never completely understand PMS. And scientific studies show that they don’t have to. An increasing number of American women (one in four, actually) use prescription medication to battle a mental disorder. So that bitchiness that you assume is related to your girl’s period could, in fact, be a chemical imbalance instead.
A recent study conducted by Medco Health Solutions, Inc. concluded that the number of women who use anti-anxiety medication is twice the amount of men, and women are also more likely to take anti-psychotic pills to ward off disorders like bipolar depression and schizophrenia.
So why are women so crazy? A possible factor for depression found in women could be the societal limitation previously placed upon them. Before the second and third wave of feminism, women were either housewives or mothers. They relied on the husband to be the primary bread winner and had to stay at home all day cooking and cleaning. This led to women being more emotionally invested in the marriage because their husband was all they had. They had no job, or degree, or any other attribute in life. This led to a perpetual feeling of loneliness and insecurity, which could trigger depression.
But how does that explain the recent increase in psychological imbalance in today’s 20- and 30-year-old women? Stars like Emma Thompson and Catherine Zeta-Jones, who have mental disorders, seem to have it all. So why are they still so sad?
The answer could lie in their genes. Hormonal regulation affects the rate of depression found in females. Menopause, also known as estrogen depletion, increases depression rates from 37% to 55%. Genetic transmission can also cause women to be more vulnerable to depression than men. For example, if the gene for depression is located in the x chromosome of a parent and is the dominant trait, females, who possess two x chromosomes, will be more affected than men, who only have one.
Whatever the reason for mental imbalances in females, men simply have to deal with it. If you think your girlfriend has a mental disorder, you have one of two choices. You can follow the advice of Iron Maiden and run for the hills, or you can stick it out and talk it over with her. Ask her about her symptoms and if she is currently on medication or seeing a therapist. Try to listen to her problems and be there for her when she needs support.
Chicks with mental disorders are usually not as crazy as Angelina Jolie in Girl, Interrupted. But that doesn’t mean that the problem should be entirely ignored.