Navigating Female-Specific Complexities in Psychiatry: Implications for Clinical Practice & Psychopharmacology

Posted on:October 28, 2023
Last Updated: April 16, 2024
Time to read: 34–40 minutes

Epidemiological data indicates that there are major gender differences in the prevalence of certain psychiatric illnesses. [Choi et al., 2017], [van der Meer et al., 2017], [Olff et al., 2007]

This makes it imperative for clinicians to delve into the unique landscape of female mental health.

While certain disorders manifest exclusively in women, such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS) experienced by approximately 20% of reproductive-age women and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) affecting 3–8% of women, there are notable gender disparities in other mental health conditions.

The increased prevalence of neuropsychiatric disorders in females can, to a degree, be accounted for by the social, cultural, and economic inequalities that females experience. However, there are also neurobiological sex differences, particularly in how different gonadal hormones influence the brain during periods of stress.

This article aims to elucidate the intricate and multidirectional relationship between hormones and the expression of clinical symptoms, stress response, and pharmacokinetics, encompassing various conditions and variations within different psychiatric disorders. Its goal is to provide clinicians with vital insights into the intricate landscape of female psychiatry, psychopharmacology and the implications for clinical practice.

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