All in Her Head: How Gender Bias Harms Women’s Mental Health

Greystone. May 2024. 336p. ISBN 9781771649711. $28.95. HEALTH
On her first day back to high school after a happy summer, medical researcher Pratt was suddenly and inexplicably enveloped in the weight of depression. Headaches, anxiety, stomachaches, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, and panic attacks marked her days. For decades, she sought help from specialists who diagnosed her with many mental and physical health conditions. She found no lasting relief after years of going in and out of treatment facilities. She was, however, able to finish high school and college, get married, have two children, and become a science writer. Her own experiences and those of other women she met led her to study mental health care and how women with illnesses have been unfairly treated throughout history. She found that following a biopsychosocial model and pursuing cognitive behavioral therapy gave her a better understanding of the wider social and cultural factors that affect her health. She also discovered the power she may have to change those factors. And to heal.
VERDICT Ideal for both general readers and for mental health professionals. This title deftly brings awareness to biases and dismissive attitudes about women patients and the barriers they face when they seek treatment and relief.
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