The diagnosis of former princess Mako's post-traumatic stress disorder prior to her controversial marriage in October has once again highlighted the intense pressure that women in the imperial family face, with some other members also plagued by mental health issues.

The former princess, 30, who is a niece of Emperor Naruhito, came under massive public scrutiny after it became known that the family of her commoner husband Kei Komuro was involved in a financial dispute.

Her aunt Empress Masako, 58, has long been battling a stress-induced illness related to the pressure she was under to produce a male heir, while former Empress Michiko, 87, the emperor's mother, became unable to speak for months amid bashing by weekly magazines following her husband's accession to the throne in 1989.