Life as a “Woman of Power” is no easy feat, but the same drive pushing you to the top of your professional industry may leave you battling stress disorders sooner rather than later.
[Related: Black Women Behind on Retirement Savings: Three Ways to Catch Up]
According to a recent report conducted by, Lantern, a web-based therapy company,
females are 11% more stressed and 16% more anxious than males and apparently, the younger you are, the less emotionally well you’re likely to be, with
18-24 year olds having 25% higher social anxiety, 19% higher levels of depression, 11% more stress, and 13% are less happy than average males in high positions.
There’s no doubt about professional development multiplied by exponential career growth equaling long nights and early mornings of hard work, but why are women so much more prone to issues of stress related mental health issues than men, when placed in high professional positions?
Lantern statistics claim, disproportionate stress levels are influenced by a woman’s need to achieve a level of, what some might call unobtainable, perfection, but Dr. Janet Taylor, a Psychiatrist, based in NYC disagrees.
“In my opinion, women don’t seek perfection over men, women seek to do the best for themselves. It’s not a gender competitive issue,” says Taylor, “A very large percentage of women who work have a double-shift with a responsibility for work and also caring for children or elderly parents at home. The issue then becomes how and where to balance the real demands of life. Stress is related to your ability to cope in healthy ways, with the reality of your life”
The ability to maintain a healthy work/life balance may seem impossible to women in high profile positions both at work and at home, but developing healthy coping skills may help and may become easier with practice and positive reinforcement.
Dr. Taylor reminds us that “nothing is perfect” and we all seek control, but life is full of challenges that we must learn from and continue to grow. She also thinks it’s a good idea to acknowledge when congratulations are in order.
“Women should congratulate themselves on their expectation and get real by prioritizing what’s important as it relates to two things, passion and purpose. Replace perfection by striving for purpose and passion everyday. The goal is to identify those moments in a hectic day.”
According to Lantern, coping with failure on those “hectic days” plays a major part in stress and depression levels. The fear of falling short, not completing tasks and dropping the ball are all contributing factors, altering women’s woes.
“Failure is not a negative. We often learn the most when we fail,” says Dr. Taylor, “To cope, welcome the failure. Examine what happened, Note feelings, emotions and actions and be aware of thing that you learned and can do so that perhaps it won’t happen again.”