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Contemporary Topics in Women's Mental Health: Global perspectives in a changing society

Contemporary Topics in Women


Contemporary Topics in Women’s Mental Health: Global Perspectives in a Changing Society considers both the mental health and psychiatric disorders of women in relation to global social change. The book addresses the current themes in psychiatric disorders among women: reproduction and mental health, service delivery and ethics, impact of violence, disasters and migration, women’s mental health promotion and social policy, and concludes each section with a commentary discussing important themes emerging from each chapter. Psychiatrists, sociologists and students of women’s studies will all benefit from this textbook.

With a Foreword by Sir Michael Marmot, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London; Chair, Commission on Social Determinants of Health

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Table of Contents

1 Psychotic disorders and bipolar affective disorder BPAD

R. Thara and R. Padmavati

1.1 Psychotic disorders in women

1.2 Schizophrenia

1.3 Bipolar disorder

1.4 Other psychoses

1.5 Special issues in women with severe mental illness


2 Depression and anxiety among women

Nadia Kadri and Khadiza Mchichi Alami

2.1 Introduction

2.2 Epidemiology

2.3 Transcultural aspect of affective disturbances in Sub-Saharan Africa

2.4 Treatment effects

2.5 Sexual differences in depression and anxiety disorders: biological determinants

2.6 Sexual differences in depression and anxiety disorders: social factors

2.7 Mood and anxiety disorders across lifespan in women

2.8 Pregnancy

2.9 Motherhood

2.10 Conclusion


3 Somatisation and dissociation

Santosh K. Chaturvedi and Ravi Philip

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Somatisation – definitions and concept

3.3 Dissociation – definitions and concept

3.4 The diagnosis and classification of somatoform and dissociative disorders

3.5 The neurobiology of somatisation and dissociation

3.6 Psychological factors

3.7 Conversion disorder

3.8 Hypochondriasis

3.9 Dissociative disorders

3.10 Conclusions


4 Eating disorders

Robert L. Palmer and Dr Sarvath Abbas

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Risk factors and pathogenesis

4.3 Distribution

4.4 Presentation, assessment, diagnosis and engagement

4.5 Treatment and management

4.6 Conclusion


5 Suicidality in women

Gergö Hadlaczky and Dannuta Wasserman

5.1 Definitions

5.2 Epidemiology

5.3 Suicidality and mental disorders and risk

5.4 Suicide prevention


6 Alcohol and substance abuse

Florence Baingana

6.1 Introduction

6.2 Genetics of alcohol and drug abuse

6.3 Burden of the problem and patterns of drinking

6.4 Alcohol and drug abuse, risky sexual behaviour and HIV vulnerability

6.5 Stigma, women and alcohol and drug abuse

6.6 Health consequences

6.7 Social and economic consequences

6.8 Interventions

6.9 Challenges

6.10 Research

6.11 Recommendations

6.12 Conclusions


7 Psychiatric consequences of trauma in women

Elie G. Karam, Mariana M. Salamoun and Salim El-Sabbagh

7.1 Introduction

7.2 What types of traumata are more common among women?

7.3 How do women respond to trauma?

7.4 What are the trauma related risk factors?

7.5 Which mental disorders are related to trauma?

7.6 Future directions


8 Voices of consumers - women with mental illness share their experiences

Shoba Raja

8.1 'Ni Tagibebu' - I will change my lifestyle

8.2 Determined to go against the odds

8.3 Brilliant madness - a narrative by a young woman from India who is recovering from mental illness

8.4 From illness to purpose and recovery

8.5 Conclusions


9 Mental aspects of pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period

Jane Fisher, Meena Cabral de Mello and Takashi Izutsu

9.1 Mental health and maternal mortality

9.2 Mental health and antenatal morbidity

9.3 Depression in pregnancy

9.4 Anxiety in pregnancy

9.5 Cultural preferences and mental health in pregnancy

9.6 Inflicted violence and mental health in pregnancy

9.7 Mental health and postpartum morbidity

9.8 Postpartum blues or mild transient mood disturbance

9.9 Postpartum psychotic illness

9.10 Postpartum depression

9.11 Psychosocial risk factors for postpartum depression

9.12 Infant factors and maternal mental health

9.13 Cultural specificity of postpartum mood disturbance

9.14 Maternal mental health, infant development and the mother-infant relationship

9.15 Prevention and treatment of maternal mental health problems

9.16 Summary


10 Psychological issues and reproductive health conditions: an interface

Veena A. Satyanarayana, Geetha Desai and Prabha S. Chandra

10.1 Introduction

10.2 Infertility: a psychosocial appraisal

10.3 The psychological implications of hysterectomy

10.4 Gynaecological infections

10.5 Conclusions


11 Menopause and women's mental health: the need for a multidimensional approach

Jill Astbury

11.1 Introduction

11.2 Social, cultural and contextual factors

11.3 Variations in symptoms and symptom patterns

11.4 The research evidence

11.5 Is menopause a time of increased risk for women's mental health?

11.6 The relationship between menopause and depression in midlife

11.7 The need for a life course perspective

11.8 Methodological difficulties

11.9 Therapeutic approaches in mid life

11.10 Conclusion


12 Ethics in psychiatric research among women

Laura Roberts and Kristen Prentice

12.1 The scientific imperative to include women in psychiatric research

12.2 The ethical challenges of psychiatric research

12.3 Unique challenges of psychiatric research in women

12.4 Summary


13 Integrating mental health into women's health and primary healthcare: the case of Chile

Graciela Rojas and Enrique Jadresic

13.1 Introduction

13.2 Integrating mental health into primary healthcare

13.3 Integrating mental health into women's health


14 Service settings for gender sensitive psychiatric care: children and adolescents

Corina Benjet


15 Gender sensitive care for adult women

Marta B. Rondon

15.1 Gender sensitive and informed mental healthcare: basic strategies

15.2 Principles of gender sensitive care

15.3 Characteristics of gender sensitive services


16 Psychopharmacology

Silvana Sarabia

16.1 History of psychopharmocology

16.2 Ethics

16.3 Sources and interpretation of data

16.4 Women in clinical trials

16.5 Pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics in women

16.6 Psychotropic treatments in women

16.7 Treatment of postpartum disorders


17 Women and disasters

Unaiza Niaz

17.1 Wars and women's mental health

17.2 Natural disasters and women

17.3 Conclusion


18 Intimate partner violence interventions

Krishna Vaddiparti and Deepthi S. Varma

18.1 Mental health consequences of intimate partner violence on women

18.2 Victim focused interventions

18.3 Interventions with batterers of violence

18.4 Other intervention approaches

18.5 Conclusion


19 Migration and mental health in women: mental health action plan as a tool to increase communication between clinicians and policy makers

Solvig Ekblad

19.1 Definitions: mental health and health

19.2 Introduction

19.3 Risk factors

19.4 Resilience and coping

19.5 The impact of domestic violence on immigrant women's mental health

19.6 Access to mental healthcare services

19.7 The ADAPT model (adaptation and development after persecution and trauma)

19.8 The case of Mrs Aba, her family and the community

19.9 Theory of change logic: mental health action planning


20 Work and women's mental health

Saida Douki

20.1 Introduction: A late but growing awareness

20.2 The job burnout

20.3 A higher risk for burnout

20.4 Work and women's mental health issues

20.5 Management issues

20.6 Conclusion


21 Globalisation and women's mental health: cutting edge information

Unaiza Niaz

21.1 Concept and process of globalisation

21.2 Gendered effects of globalisation

21.3 The impact of globalisation and liberalisation on women's health

21.4 Education and empowerment in women

21.5 United Nation and World Banks approach to women's education

21.6 The global and local intersection of feminisation in Muslim societies

21.7 Other impacts of globalisation

21.8 Internet addiction

21.9 Mental health issues related to the use of Internet and mobile phones in the developing countries

21.10 Recommendations to counteract negative effects of globalisation


22 The impact of culture on women's mental health

Marianne Kastrup and Unaiza Niaz

22.1 Introduction

22.2 Definitions

22.3 Epidemiological perspectives

22.4 Cultural aspects of stress

22.5 Diagnostic considerations

22.6 Cultural and social practices and their impact on mental health

22.7 Therapeutic issues

22.8 Perspectives


23 Female mutilation

Almira Seif Eldin

23.1 Definition

23.2 Introduction

23.3 Historical background

23.4 Classification

23.5 Epidemiology of FGM

23.6 Physical complication of FGM

23.7 Psychological complication

23.8 Posttraumatic stress disorder and memory problems after FGM

23.9 Obstacles facing changing harmful social convention: female genital mutilation/cutting

23.10 The basic concept for FGM elimination: (The mental map for FGM)

23.11 Recommendations in countries where FGM is commonly practiced


24 Women's mental health in the concept of broad global policies

Takashi Izutsu

24.1 Definitions of health and the right to health made by the United Nations

24.2 The Fourth World Conference on Women Platform for Action (1995)

24.3 Conventions

24.4 Other international tools

24.5 New aid environment: sector wide approaches and the poverty reduction strategy paper

24.6 Conclusion


25 Families of origin as agents determining women's mental health

Wenhong Cheng

25.1 The impact of the family of origins perspectives about females on the growth of women

25.2 Impact of parenthood on women's mental health

25.3 Families, social change and women's mental health


26 The unpaid workload: gender discrimination in conceptualization and its impact on women's mental health

Jane Fisher

26.1 Maternal desire

26.2 Disenfranchised grief and motherhood

26.3 Fantasies of motherhood

26.4 Fantasies about the workload

26.5 Workload of motherhood

26.6 Occupational fatigue as a determinant of maternal mood?

26.7 Recognition and valuing of work and occupational satisfaction

26.8 Training and education for mothering

26.9 Presumptions about the contributions of others to the workload

26.10 Collegial relationships

26.11 Honouring the work of mothers in practice and policy


27 Foundations of human development: maternal care in the early years

Linda M. Richter and Tamsen Rochat

27.1 Child development and human culture

27.2 Interactions and relationships

27.3 Maternal mental health and children's development

27.4 Maternal care

27.5 Implications for mental healthcare

27.6 Increased choices for women


28 The adverse impact of psychological aggression, coercion and violence in the intimate partner relationship on women's mental health

Toshiko Kamo

28.1 Prevalence and nature of intimate partner violence

28.2 Impact of intimate partner violence on general health

28.3 Mental health problems among women affected by intimate partner violence

28.4 Intimate partner violence, children and intergenerational patterns of abuse

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Author Information

Prabha S. Chandra is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Department of Psychiatry at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India. She has served as a member of the WPA section on women’s mental health and is the first person from a developing country to be elected to the executive of the Marce International Perinatal Psychiatry Society.   She has also been a convener and chairperson of the Task force on women’s mental health of the Indian Psychiatric Society.

Her main research contributions in the areas of women’s mental health have been in perinatal psychiatry, psychosomatic obsetrics and gynecology and the role of violence in women with mental illness. Prof. Chandra has received several national awards for research in womens mental health.  She has been a member of the Advisory group on HIV Behavioral Research of the Indian Council of Medical Research and has also served as a Temporary Advisor to the WHO and UNAIDS.  She has about 90 publications in the above areas of research and has edited several books and training manuals.

Helen Herrman is Professor of Psychiatry at the Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, Department of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne. She is also Director, WHO Collaborating Centre in Mental Health, Melbourne; Secretary for Publications, World Psychiatric Association; and Regional Vice-President Oceania, World Federation for Mental Health.

Her interests include mental health promotion, the assessment of outcomes and quality of life for people with mental illnesses, the link between mental health and HIV infection, and the delivery of mental health services.

Jane Fisher

Deputy Director and Coordinator of International Programs, University of Melbourne, Australia. 

Marianne Kastrup was Medical Director of the Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims, Copenhagen (1997-2001) and is now Head of the Centre Transcultural Psychiatry, Psychiatric. Dept. Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.  She is the Zonal Representative for the WPA and has served on various committees for both the WPA and the European Association of Psychiatry.

Unaiza Niaz is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist who is the Director of The Psychiatric Clinic & Stress Research Center, Karachi.  She is the President & Founder Member of the Pakistan Society of Traumatic Stress Studies, a Life Member of  The Pakistan Psychiatric Society, and was previously Vice President and Secretary General. She is a life member of the World Federation of Mental Health, American Psychiatric Association and a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, London.  She trained at The Royal Free Hospital, the Tavistock Clinic, Hampstead, London and The Johns Hopkins University, USA. Her research interests are Stress management, Women’s Issues, Medical Health Policy and Post- Graduate Education.  She has numerous scientific publications in international journals and has authored several books: Emerging Images of Pakistani Women, Stress Management and The Psychosocial Profile of Pakistani Women, published by Karachi University, and a landmark Monograph on Womens Mental Health In Pakistan.  She has also edited Medical Ethics in Contemporary Era and Pakistan Earthquake—International Perspectives on Handling Psycho-Trauma. Presently, she is Co-Chair of the WPA Section on Women’s Mental Health and an Advisor to the National Commission on the Status of Women—Pakistan.

Marta Rondón, assistant professor at Cayetano Heredia University, is a Founder of the Peruvian Association for Women's Mental Health and was Chair of the Section of Women's Mental Health of the World Psychiatric Association.  She was the first woman to be President of the Peruvian Psychiatric Association and is a recipient of the Medal of Honor of the Peruvian College of Physicians..  Formerly Director General of the Office for Older People, Ministry of Women and Social Development in Peru, she currently sits on the National Committee on Mental Health and the High Level Commission on Sexual and Reproductive Health in the Peruvian College of Physicians.  Marta works at the Edgardo Rebagliati Martins Hopsital, where she supervises services for chronic psychiatric patients and sits on the hospital's committee against gender based violence.

Ahmed Okasha is Professor and Director of the WHO Collaborating Center for Training and Research in Mental Health, Institute of Psychiatry – Ain Shams University, Cairo. He is President of the Egyptian Psychiatric Association and of the Egyptian Society of Biological Psychiatry, as well as a Past President of the World Psychiatric Association. Professor Okasha is on the Editorial Advisory Board of 20 International Scientific Journals, an Honorary Fellow of The American College of Psychiatrists (2002) and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (Edinburgh, 1973) and of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (London, 1973).

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"The book does a service in pointing out its importance as a major issue in women's mental health ... There is much more here than mental and reproduction health." (World Federation for Mental Health, 1 August 2011)

"Given the vital importance of social factors to the development of mental disorders in the women of the world and mainstream psychiatry’s predominant focus on the biological, this book’s devotion to highlighting the impact of how cultural, political and economic conditions affect women’s mental health is noteworthy and a major strength. The book also delivers on its promise to examine this area from a global perspective, and the reader is richer for it. Each inhabited continent is represented in the book’s list of contributors, and this ensures that relevant social factors are not overlooked. Not surprisingly, the product of this international focus is a book that is unparalleled in terms of the breadth of the social factors that are examined for their relevance to women’s mental health." (Archives of Womens Mental Health, 2011)

"The really interesting feature of the book is its emphasis on the role of cultural and social circumstances on the presentation, perceptions and treatment of mental health in women. The chapters on somatization and the impact of culture on women's mental health are essential reading for all health practitioners who have women among their patients." (Occupational Medicine, December 2010)

"This book is a goldmine of information on the challenges for gender-focused research and clinical treatment of mental health problems. The editors have done a remarkable job of identifying and summarizing the available literature on women's mental health... It would be a valuable asset for academic psychiatrists and psychologists teaching courses or researching women's mental health issues, as well as psychotherapists." (Indian Journal of Psychiatry, October 2010)

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