Women’s Mental Health Program
Depression is a disease that costs America many billions of dollars per year in decreased productivity and lost revenue. More importantly, it affects people on a deep personal level. Women with depression feel the strain of depression in their relationships, their physical health, their work or other role responsibilities, and their hopes and dreams for the future. The Women’s Mental Health Program at the University of Louisville is committed to providing mental health care to women throughout the life cycle.
Women and men have the same rate of depression before the onset of menses in girls and after menopause in women. However once menstruation begins, women have a rate of depression that is two times that of men. There are several times in a woman’s life - pregnancy, after childbirth, and during the perimenopausal period - when she is more vulnerable to problems with mood disorders.
The Women’s Mental Health Program comprehensively evaluates women for mental health problems taking into account the biological, psychological, and social issues that might be contributing to their symptoms. Evaluation of the menstrual cycle and its effects on mood symptoms is an important part of this comprehensive evaluation. Comprehensive risk/benefit assessments are provided for patients who are contemplating pregnancy or need treatment while they are pregnant. Follow-up through the post-partum period, as well as contact with one’s obstetrician, is considered an important aspect of treatment. Finally, psychiatric symptoms associated with menopause or the perimenopausal period are other important targets for care.
Because obesity continues to be a growing problem in our society, we have developed a “Think Thin” weight loss group that is based upon cognitive-behavior therapy principles for weight loss. It is an eight-week group that assists in developing healthier views about eating, improved dietary habits, and life-style changes that promote long-term weight control.
The Women’s Mental Health Program in the Department of Psychiatry is directed by Joyce Spurgeon, M.D. and includes a dedicated staff of women psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, and social worker who provide specialized services for women with depression and related problems. Further resources are available for chemical dependency treatment, treatment of depression in children and adolescents, and the elderly, and computer-assisted therapy at the University of Louisville Depression Center.
Learn more about women and depression symptoms and treatment options.