Women's Wellness Program FAQs

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Why do women suffer from depression and anxiety more than men do?

A woman is two to three times more likely to develop problems with depression or anxiety than a man is. In fact, depression is the leading cause of disability for a woman living in the United States. The different rates of depression and anxiety among men and women are likely due to a number of factors influencing women's mental health, including hormonal changes, interpersonal trauma, social/economic inequality, work/family conflicts, different cognitive and personality styles, as well as pregnancy/childcare issues, and factors related to body image and self-esteem.

Why do I need a program developed specifically for women?

There is increasing evidence that women do better in "gender-sensitive" programs that are designed to address the major biological and psychosocial factors influencing women's emotional health and are sensitive to the impact of medication on their unique physiology.

What is the mind-body connection?

Our minds and bodies are intertwined and interdependent - just as our minds affect our bodies and our physical health, our health affects our emotional well-being. For example, stress, anxiety and depression have been linked to the development of a number of health problems such as high blood pressure, digestive problems, headaches and chronic fatigue. On the other hand, fluctuations in reproductive hormones, thyroid dysfunction, chronic pain and cancer are examples of health problems that can trigger an anxiety or depressive disorder.

How do you work with the mind-body connection in the Wellness Program?

The program contains a major health education component. In addition, women are taught strategies to reduce stress and anxiety such as relaxation training, yoga, meditation and guided imagery, which can have a positive effect on physical functioning. The program's psychiatrist also closely collaborates with patients' primary care physicians to coordinate and integrate medical and mental healthcare services.

What is a "lifestyle balance" and why is it important to a woman's emotional health?

Women experience certain kinds of stress more commonly than men, such as the stress resulting from multiple and conflicting roles at home and at work, from working in low-paid and low-status occupations, and from being the primary caretaker of children (often as a single parent), and of ill and aging family members. As a result, women's needs for emotional support and social connection, for leisure and relaxation, for spirituality, and for self-care and self-nurturing can go unmet. The Women's Wellness Program encourages women to examine all major areas of their lives and to work toward a balance of attention to others and to self, and to the major aspects of her emotional, spiritual and physical being.

Can we smoke during the program?

No. It is against hospital rules for patients to smoke during the program. Smokers who are interested in quitting will be provided with information on ways to accomplish this. We are committed to patient comfort and will help those who have symptoms of withdrawal to find ways to manage any discomfort, including nicotine replacement, when appropriate, and group support. Please click here for more information.