Women's History & Mental Health
Updated: Mar 21
March is Women's History Month
Women's History with Mental Health:
Women and the field of mental health and psychology have a long and complicated history mainly because of two factors:
The field of psychology, in its foundation, was mostly (if not entirely) made up of white men.
Women have been marginalized and oppressed group for centuries (and even still face discrimination and maltreatment).
In fact, in the 18th and 19th century, the term "hysteria" was a diagnosis that many women were "afflicted" with for expressing "excessive" emotions which only helped give pseudo-scientific backing to harmful stereotypes that are still around today (e.g.: women are too emotional).
Women In Mental Health Today:
Today, there is still room for research into how mental and physical illnesses affect women and people of color specifically (because our current knowledge comes from research done by white men on white men). There are gender gaps in diagnosis, presenting symptoms, and treatment.
However, as of today, 74% of the mental health professionals currently practicing are women. And though there is still more work to be done for true gender equity, representation matters and makes a big impact in the push for change.