Up to now, about 6.000 women have been treated in our mental health
service, and 1503 women have been treated in the last five years (see graphic
From an epidemiological point of view, this population corresponds to the
general female population of Italy. It consists mainly of adult married women,
Main symptoms are anxiety, depression, and/or psychosomatic troubles. In the recent years the demand for care has been growing, also from younger women, aged between 15 and 44.
Our statistics have confirmed
the international statistics. These show that psychic pathologies (major
depression, anxiety, eating
disorders) are prevalent and rising among women within the general
population. Depression, specially, is the main cause of burden diseases among
women between 15 and 44 years of age. The prevalence rates, in depression, are
between 2 and 3 times higher among women than in men; in panic attacks they go
up to three times more than in men.
The prevalence rates in women, compared to men, are clearly rising
starting from first adolescence time. Female
adolescents run a higher risk of disease and, in some cases like eating
disorders, the rate for women goes up to 9:1 (90% of the total cases).
The prevalent age of women in the our Centre is included in the range 15-44 (see graphic no.2 ); the prevalent diagnoses are: depressive disorders (major depression and dysthymia) and anxiety disorders (phobia, obsessive disorders, panic attacks , post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders ( anorexia and bulimia) ( see graphic no.3).
Other clinical data
range of activities is based on difference in age and status of female patients.
psycho-social risk factors related to mental disorders in woman and in adolescents;
stress and women's daily life;
violence and pathology risks;
depression and risk of psychodrugs abuse.
We have increased our prevention activities especially in the following 3 areas:
- female adolescence, body image and risks of anorexia/bulimia
- female stress connected to an overload of family caring
- women and their dependence in situations of violence
We offer two kinds of health Services to women:
The first one addresses women who are not mentally ill, yet; it attempts to prevent specific distress situations; the goal of this counselling service is to reduce the damage caused by subordination and violence in every-day women’s life. It brings their life problems into focus and promotes abilities, awareness and skills to find a solution. For this purpose, we have set up a " welcome and listening " Service, training courses, social and psychological support groups, self-help groups. These activities aim to address different problems typologies such as:
work interruptions for pregnancy and child care;
difficulties in social relationships;
difficulties in either housework or external work;
abuse and violence in and outside of the family;
The second one addresses, instead, women who have already developed symptoms of mental illness and have already been treated for psychiatric diseases. This activity encourages women to see a connection between the kind of daily life they carry on and the illness they’re suffering with. It aims to create a concrete alternative to psychiatric hospitals /or cures by offering practical help and necessary support to:
reduce or, at least, change, the meanings of some specific therapeutic terms such as hospitalization, drugs and so on;
consider the symptoms of mental illness as signs of unbearable life condition;
create new life styles according to women’s aptitudes, interests and emotions.
Women Centre Adolescents Centre