Patriarchy Stress Disorder Part 3: Anxiety and Depression in Women, Misunderstood

Women are nearly twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with depression and/or anxiety than men. Conventional treatments do not consider the trauma of 1000s of years of oppression passed down in our DNA as a crucial factor that underlies depression and anxiety. I call this condition Patriarchy Stress Disorder™ (PSD).

PSD is an invisible inner jail that generations of women have been born into.

In this episode, I show you how both depression and anxiety are adaptive reactions to the trauma of oppression.

Because the first step in breaking out of the prison is realizing that we are in prison.

I show you exactly how PSD affects your mental and physical health and begin your healing journey with a PSD jailbreak.


Its walls are constructed of the trauma of 1000s years of oppression that has been passed down to us from our mothers, grandmothers, and great great great grandmothers galore through our DNA.

Its bars are all the ways in which PSD expresses in our health, relationships, career, business, finances, confidence, wellbeing, etc. — holding us back from our ultimate happiness and success, standing in the way of us truly having it all.

We have an online community of PSD jailbreakers. I’d love for you to join us.

I’ve been having conversations with these amazing women about how PSD affects them. This is what I call “the bars” of the PSD jail. Here are a few that they’ve shared. Maybe you’ll recognize yourself in them. I certainly did:

*I’m still discovering the extent to which this affects me. It definitely shows up, everywhere! In self-sabotage – whenever I get healthier and fitter, I injure myself or get sick… In business, through lack of consistency… etc.

*It has caused me to repress my sexual flow. It has caused me to devalue my feminine powers and attributes.

*Health through burn out and adrenal fatigue. Fight or flight mode after birth. Men not honoring me in the work place.

*I think I am afraid to be myself sometimes and not trust in my abilities to be fully myself.

*After working in a patriarchal, male dominated environment, developing severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

*Having to deal with modes of behavior that are set up for men, but don’t work for women.

*I’ve been in a male dominated technology field for about 25 years. I work with young women to try to get them interested in technology but they seem to be much more interested in traditional gender roles than my generation. It’s frustrating.

*In feeling like I need to do more and am not enough.

*My ex/child’s dad is very patriarchal and always discounting me to my daughter and I am always looking for ways to overcome to stress of it and to teach my daughter to see it for what it is, and not be “auto-effected” by the patriarchy.

*I don’t always know how to deal with mansplainers. I come across them often in my work.

*Playing small, stress when in groups with males at work, physical anxiety around groups of men, not being recognized for the hard work I am doin.

*Probably on every level – I had to train myself to think like a man!

*Working in Tech: Communicating scientific facts to hostile male audiences. Fun! Yay!

*As a young adult I came down with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and did not pursue a career. My marriage failed and I am trying to rebuild my life and find a career.

*Rage, depression, skin issues, soreness, allergies, panic, anxiety.

*I live a gendered lifestyle in which I have surprisingly found myself mostly in a traditional “women’s” role — doing the bulk of the cooking, cleaning and childcare. I make art about the same subject. I feel my work is devalued.

*I’m in an everyday every hour, every minute, every second chronic worrier. I stress everything. Even if there’s nothing to stress. I overthink and overanalyze life consistently. I truly need help.

*I grew up in a strict religion where PSD is magnified. I have so many dreams but the fear of standing up for myself holds me back.

*In every way.

In the forthcoming episodes, I’ll unpack each of the PSD jail bars more fully — how it affects our health, relationships, career, business, finances, our self-esteem, self-care, wellbeing, parenting, etc. — the biology and psychology of it.

Please share in the comments below or in our Facebook community how PSD affects you, so I can weave answers to your questions into these revolutionary materials and bring you maximum value in the forthcoming episodes


Next, you need a jailbreak plan. I will be unpacking the plan week after week, episode by episode. (Make sure to subscribe here or in your favorite podcast app not to miss it and join my community of PSD jailbreakers — it’s free.)

But if you’re impatient like me, you feel you’ve already waited too long to reclaim your inner freedom and your ultimate success and happiness — and you’re ready for your jailbreak NOW, I invite you to apply for the Jailbreak course.

What I bring to the table is over 20,000 hours of experience as a therapist specializing in holistic (mind-body-spirit) trauma resolution. I’ve spent over 14 years helping my clients plan and execute their jailbreaks.

That’s thousands of women who freed themselves from the prison of trauma (PSD being just one of the trauma varieties) where they were holding themselves back to feel safe — to boldly stepping out professionally and personally, claiming their gorgeousness, dodging clothes that served as their “invisibility cloaks” for bright colors, sexy silhouettes, and fabulous shoes, finding their soulmates, skyrocketing their incomes, their life, work, and relationship satisfaction.

That’s hundreds of relationships that broke out of the trauma prison (yes, women and men are traumatized by patriarchy differently, with other kinds of trauma typically in the mix), transformed from suffering to thriving, from a lack of connection to deep intimacy, from emotional and physical affection deprivation to avalanches of toe-curling orgasms and deep fulfillment found in their togetherness.

I can go on and on.

But the thing that really matters here is — what’s waiting for YOU on the other side of the PSD prison walls? 

I’ll be happy to help you discover it.

Remember: In the world where it’s never been safe for a woman to be visible, her success is a revolutionary act. Thank you for being her success revolutionary. Please share these revolutionary materials with your sisters and brothers who love us.

With love and appreciation,


Dr. Valerie

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