Today I emailed at least six psychologists. “2019 is going to be my year” is something we all promise, but it doesn’t always end up being the result. However, this year, my year, I’m determined to at least try and begin working on myself to recover from distress, to find a cure to my chronic pain, and to become a better person for 2020. And I don’t feel like I’m alone.
With the new wave of self-care, people are ready to rewrite their history and take on mental illness, physical ailments, and the downright disaster of U.S. politics. But all of this fighting for happiness, stability, and basic health seems a bit too common. Everyone in my life seems to be pulling at any shreds of mental or physical health that they have left.
So it’s not really a surprise that the United States ranked terribly in comparison to other countries on how healthy it is to live here as a woman. You may be thinking that eleventh place isn’t so bad, but only 11 countries were on the list.
In a new report from the Commonwealth Fund, titled "What Is the Status of Women’s Health and Health Care in the U.S. Compared to Ten Other Countries?", the breakdown is as follows: 20 percent of women in the U.S. from ages 16-64 have two or more chronic conditions. Women in Germany ranked the lowest on reports. Chronic diseases in the U.S. include joint pain, asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure.
Emotional distress is another area that is high in the U.S. where 34 percent of women find themselves experiencing this. Moreover, emotional distress may be linked to physical illnesses, which can increase the numbers of chronic concerns. The U.S. falls far behind Germany, where only seven percent of women reported emotional distress.
Sweden and Norway are on top in terms of maternal mortality. Cesarean sections, lack of prenatal care, and “increased rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease” contribute to the U.S.’s numbers affecting women aged 15-49.
The U.S. is, however, one of the lowest ranked among breast cancer-related deaths. Germany and the Netherlands ranked the highest.
Of course, the study is limited in terms of who was interviewed and a survey for the report. Not all women in the United States were studied or addressed. But the report does look at the 11 most wealthy nations and the results of these numbers are disheartening and making most of us want to get the hell out of dodge.
Bruce Lee writes on Forbes, “With the U.S. economy supposedly doing so well, there should be no financial excuse for America to fall behind these other North American, European, and Oceania higher income countries in something so important as health. It's another sign that our healthcare system has many real problems when a significant percentage of our population can't get appropriate health care.”
As I read through the report, I thought about the year ahead and how I am trying to become a healthier, happier version of myself and how I will try and combat an entire country and healthcare system that continues to fail us every day. Women all around the country and just trying to do the same.