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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

The Female Mind: A User's Guide

Edited by Kathryn M. Abel and Rosalind Ramsay

Price: £13.99

College members' price: £12.59

Published: tbc

Format: Paperback

Number of pages: 260

ISBN: 9781909726802

The Female Mind: A User's Guide

Pre-publication special offer: use the code FMPP417
at the checkout to get 25% off the full price


Due out September 2017. You can buy this title now, but please note your copy will not be sent out until the book comes out in September 2017.

Read sample chapters

Recent research has shown a dramatic increase in the number of women and girls suffering from mental health problems. The Female Mind: A User’s Guide is an up-to-date overview of how gender affects mental health and will help women to identify and manage the symptoms of mental ill health.

Read the foreword by Claire Eastham

The first half of the book is a whistle-stop tour of the many reasons why being a woman is difficult and particular situations that are common to women. It includes arranged marriage, domestic violence, the influences of cultural and historical factors, motherhood and pain. It examines how external pressures and physical factors have more effect on women and studies the modern woman’s place in the ever-changing social landscape.

“It reads like a friendly guided tour of a woman’s brain… After reading it I felt revolutionised. Is it any wonder that women are more likely to develop some mental illnesses? We deal with a lot of rubbish!”
- From the foreword by Claire Eastham (well known mental health blogger and author of bestseller We’re All Mad Here)

The second half covers a wide range of specific mental disorders - many of which are more common in women – such as anxiety, rumination, self-harm and depression. It gives helpful tips and lists useful resources. Armed with this knowledge you will feel more informed and better equipped to communicate confidently with your doctors and healthcare practitioners.

In today’s digital age people can access much information without necessarily knowing how reliable, accurate and up to date it is, or how relevant it is to them personally. All thirty-plus chapters in The Female Mind are written by experts in the field who draw on the latest high-quality evidence. Entertaining real-life stories are used throughout to illustrate the varying situations women find themselves in. This is an authoritative and fascinating overview of the complexities of being a woman and will help you, or your loved ones, to understand and deal with potential mental health problems.


Readership: The general public; especially useful for women who wish to identify and manage their own symptoms.


About the editors:
Prof Kathryn M. Abel – Professor of Psychological Medicine, Centre for Women’s Mental Health, University of Manchester.
Dr Rosalind Ramsay – Consultant Psychiatrist, Maudsley Hospital, London.

“The Female Mind is a hugely important publication. Hurrah! I can’t believe there’s finally a mental health book for the general reader. …Whether you’re suffering yourself, or caring for someone else, this book is for you…I wish this had been around ten years ago.”

Claire Eastham
(Well known mental health blogger and author)

Provisional Contents

Foreword - by Claire Eastham



Part 1. Women in Perspective
1. The female mind: historical and cultural perspective
2. Women’s mental health and treatment in context
3. The female identity: human sexuality
4. The female brain: growing up female
5. Being female: the biology of woman

Part 2. Women and society
6. Poverty, exclusion, debt and the generational effects on women in the 21st century
7. Changing cultures, immigration, asylum
8. Arranged marriages
9. Girls at risk
10. Domestic violence and abuse
11. Women: violence and the criminal justice system

Part 3. Women and their environments
12. Protective factors: emotional well-being and staying well (exercise, work, education)
13. Protective factors: religion and spirituality
14. Physical health and the female mind
15. Obesity
16. Women and sleep
17. Pain
18. Retirement and living longer
19. Bereavement, grief and loss

Part 4. Women and specific disorders
20. Depression and mood disorders
21. Women and anxiety disorders
22. Post-traumatic stress disorder and trauma
23. Women and psycho-sexual disorders
24. The woman who mistook a concern for cancer
25. Obsessive–compulsive disorders
26. Body image and body dysmorphia
27. Eating disorders
28. Personality disorder: risks and recovery
29. Self-harm
30. Women and addiction
31. Intellectual disabilities: Asperger syndrome and autistic spectrum disorder
32. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
33. First-episode psychosis
34. Psychosis (schizophrenia)
35. Postnatal depression and postpartum psychosis
36. What is a sensitive mother?
37. Dementia and mental health problems in older women

Part 5. Women and treatment
38. What do women want from services? A patient’s perspective
39. What women want or say they want from treatment
40. Complementary alternative therapies


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