Mental Health in Housewives.
In the past decade, the roles of men and women have changed drastically in society. India is no exception. Today, we can easily find a woman running a house, handling chores, managing kids and still being able to ace her job. But the matter of concern is not the various unconventional fields where women are seen more often, the problem is the number!
It is alarming that only about 24% of women are working as salaried employees in India. The clear discrepancy becomes evident when we look into the number of qualified and worthy women and compare it to the working force. So, what happens to these ‘skilled’ humans who can actually contribute a lot to our country’s economy and instead stay back at home managing the household?
In India, there are many points for this. If we have a safer look, most often women opt not to work because there isn’t a well-formed support system. Women undergo issues such as improper baby sitters where they can’t reliably keep their kids, unskilled domestic aid, lack of proper commute to move around within the city, highly irregular working hours which lead to a lack of ability to develop a work-life balance, less payment compared to men in the industry, and most of all the lack of safety.
Here’s how you can be patient.
Most often, women go for a sabbatical during or post-pregnancy or due to stress or marriage. When she decides to return to work, she may find difficulty in finding a job since many workplaces have the notion that a sabbatical may have compromised her efficiency and might have incapacitated her productivity.
Almost always, the expectations from her family members or in-laws to take care of the household and kids persuade her to prioritise her alliance and relationship over her dreams. Therefore, women prefer to ditch their jobs and become homemakers.
Here’s why you should think positive.
Mental health problems in homemakers that no one talks about
Mental health difficulties influence ladies and men evenly and the same characters experience it, but some difficulties are more prevalent in women than guys and vice versa. A few of the domains of mental health-related interests most commonly seen are-
Episodes of depression and anxiety
As we move into speaking about mental health interests, it is essential to discuss the ‘elephant in the room.’ This can be achieved by stating that family past, genetic determinants, past psychiatric records, such as incidents of panic, stress and anxiety along with personality factors can trigger troubles once the woman gets united or wishes to convert to a homemaker.
Whether you have decided to be a homemaker or not, nuptial anxiety can result from multiple factors, such as a harmful and toxic association with your spouse, problems with your in-laws, problems with children, character, the nature of you and your companion, and so on. It is not fair to grieve alone, thus, it is essential to know the patterns of your relationship with your wife and extended family members and attend to them promptly before it gets too late. Counselling gives couples who are not pleased in their unions the possibility to consider issues explicitly with therapists, which might spice up their alliance.
Professional life vs personal life
Even though women operate extra hard to fulfil their individual goals and establish healthy limits between their expert and private life, it is evident that seldom, they reach their door. Often, women go through guilt snares for assigning duties to extended relatives and household help.
Household violence in India is not just common in lower and middle classes, but also notorious in prosperous families. 31% of married women have experienced physical, sexual or emotional violence by their spouses in India. It is alarming! The signs of domestic violence are not always obvious and many times, women do not report that they are getting abused because they believe that the husband has the right to abuse them. Legal experts have reported that working women are less prone to domestic violence. However, the truth is no matter what might be the situation, it is important for women to be aware of the laws and legislatures and report any kind of violence against them.
Here’s how you can focus on success.
Unlike very few parts of the country and even fewer progressive families, patriarchy rules largely in Indian households. It has become an acceptable norm to let the women look after the house, kids and family. Even though the millennials are being vocal about it and working towards making India more inclusive in nature, we still have a long way to go.
Over one third (36.6 per cent) of suicides by women in the world in 2016 were in India, up from 25.3 per cent in 1990, according to a 2018 Lancet report. Married women account for the highest proportion of suicide deaths among women in India because of reasons such as early arranged marriages, young motherhood, low social status, domestic violence and economic dependence.
Here’s how you can be courageous.
“Women are very excited about the wedding itself but when the reality of the marriage hits, it becomes an abusive prison” for many, said Deepa Narayan, a social scientist and author of the book Chup: Breaking the Silence About India’s Women.
She said many such young women go through depression but do not reach out for help and often when they do, they do not get the required support. “Even when they are mistreated, usually their family asks them to ‘adjust’, causing them further despair” and isolation, said Deepa Narayan, which she said is one of the primary reasons housewives kill themselves.
Here’s how you can be a good listener.
In 2018, the number of housewives killing themselves (22,937) increased by 6.9 per cent when compared to 2017 (21,453), NCRB data show. This could be because of an increase in suicides or an increase in reporting of such cases to the police.
Many burn injuries and deaths inflicted by partners, in-laws or by women themselves are classified as accidents, according to this 2016 study, “Busting the Kitchen Accident Myth: Case of Burn Injuries in India”, conducted by the Centre for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, both in Mumbai, IndiaSpend reported in January 2017.
The study analysed 22 cases of burn injuries among women, of which 15 were reported as accidents. The investigation revealed that only three were accidents, while others were self-inflicted or caused by others. The study also revealed that 19 of 22 women were, at the time, experiencing domestic violence.
Overall, the prevalence of suicidality (including thoughts of suicide and actual attempts) was higher in women (6 per cent) than in men (4.1 per cent), according to a January 2020 study by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, based on data from the 2015-16 National Mental Health Survey. The prevalence of suicidality was the highest in women aged 40-49 years, the study found.
The superwomen managing the house frequently face questions, such as, “You’re just a housewife?” “So, you are not working?”… as if homemakers don’t work. As if being a housewife is sinful and you need to sound sorry!
No matter what, it’s important to be empowered and stand your ground with dignity and poise. You don’t have to be apologetic for choosing to be at home. It is important that you are aware of your rights and laws. If you feel stressed, before giving up, for once, take the time out for yourself and seek professional help from therapists near you.
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