Medical Monday: Women’s Behavioral Health

Women in all stages of life should pay attention to their behavioral health
Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 8:31 AM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - Behavioral health includes the emotions and behaviors that affect your overall well-being, according to the centers for Medicare and Medicaid services. While important for everyone to address, women in all stages of life should pay attention to their behavioral health. Vanessa Symonick explains in this week’s Medical Monday.

Dr. Behnoosh Dashti: " There’s a stigma around behavioral health. And many times, people are reluctant to talk about their issues with behavioral health because they normalize it. They might see it as a sign of weakness, and they don’t want to address that. They try to be strong, they try to manage things on their own”.

Behavioral health is important to address for all stages of life in women says Dr Behnoosh (Beh- new-sh) Dashti (Dah-sht-tee) a primary care provider in the women’s health center at AR Gould. She says women will often push back when addressing the issue because they frequently put others before themselves.

Dashti: " And it’s not just restricted to behavioral health, but many people, many women are busy especially with caring about other. If they have young children for example, could be very busy, do not have enough time for themselves”.

In addition to putting others before themselves Dashti says the fear of addiction can also impact addressing a woman’s behavioral and mental health.

Dashti: “That is one of the reasons that people don’t seek help because they are afraid that they will be prescribed medications and they don’t want to take it because they believe that it might be addictive, whereas it’s exactly the opposite.”

She says, not addressing the issue can have lasting impacts down the road when it comes to your physical health, especially during pregnancy.

Dashti: " During pregnancy for example, having depression can impact their general health, it can impact having healthy nutrition because they may not feel like eating or have motivation to take care of themselves. We know that depression during pregnancy can result in lower birth weight of the babies or even early birth. It’s not healthy”.

Overall, Dashti reminds all women it’s important to seek help when feeling depressed and recommends first talking to your primary care provider during your annual physical. Vanessa Symonick Newssource 8.