Ongoing Research

Mental Health: Ongoing Research

While distinctions between men and women weren't always clearly made in mental health research, in recent years government mandates have encouraged federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health to respond to the need for mental health research specific to women. Private organizations are also responding to the need to research men’s and women’s health issues separately.

For example, researchers at the Women’s Health Research Center at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., are studying many issues related to women's mental health, including:

·         Differences in brain development that may provide insights into treating and preventing depression and bipolar disorder

·         Mood and memory processes in women that may make it harder for them to quit smoking

·         Effects of estrogen on memory, behavior, cognition, and emotion, and particularly how estrogen seems to increase rates of PTSD and depression

·         Genetics specific to women that may contribute to alcoholism

As more research comes to light and there is greater understanding of women’s mental health issues, experts are hopeful that targeted treatments will bring better results and more positive outcomes for women with mental health conditions.