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  • Print publication year: 2006
  • Online publication date: August 2009

Preface

Summary

The particular mental health experiences of women have received great attention in recent years. This reflects growing concern about the burden of mental health problems on the lives of women and their families. The most common mental health disorders are anxiety and depression, and women are particularly prone to such disorders. “Mood and Anxiety Disorders in Women” uses a biopsychosocial framework to provide a broad contemporary perspective on mood and anxiety in the context of women's lives. A developmental approach affords an overarching structure for the book, with each chapter examining a particular phase of women's lives. Extensive cross-referencing allows a shared perspective across other developmental stages where appropriate.

Chapter 1 provides an overview of the emotional hurdles facing adolescent girls, with particular reference to how these can contribute to the manifestation of psychological and psychiatric problems at this stage of development. Earlier developmental factors are also discussed.

Picking up on some of these themes, Chapter 2 is concerned with personality disorders and women, with a particular emphasis on why women tend to be more vulnerable to certain personality disorders (notably borderline), and less vulnerable than men to others (notably antisocial personality disorder). Aetiopathogenic parameters, including the role of childhood sexual abuse, as well as diagnostic issues, are addressed.

Chapter 3 turns to substance use disorders in women, covering epidemiological, clinical and therapeutic aspects.