Women and Mental Health: Gender and Psychological Well-being
Gender is defined as a set of characteristics that differentiate men and women from one another. The characteristics that distinguish between male and female are related to sex, social roles and gender identity, depending on the circumstances. Research has shown there are a number of gender related differences between men and women related to mental health, mental illness and psychological well-being. In general, the rates of psychiatric disorder are almost identical for men and women, but there are significant differences in the patterns of mental illness and mental health related to gender.
Women and Mental Health: Why Gender?
Research has shown that gender has a significant impact in determining the degree of difference in the power and control men and women have over the variables that affect their mental health, their lives, their social situation, their status and the treatment they receive related to their risk for mental health and psychological well-being. Additionally, research has shown there are specific gender differences related to the occurrence, or rates, of normal mental disorders such as depression, anxiety and somatic complaints. The specific findings, related to these mental health and psychological disorders, is that they are more common in women than men.
Women and Mental Health: Gender and Depression
Depression is the most common mental health diagnosis for women. An overwhelming statistic, being publicized, is that unipolar depression is expected to be the second leading cause of global disability by the year 2020. The mental health diagnosis of unipolar is diagnosed twice as much in women as in men. It has been proposed that being able to reduce the over-representation of women who are depressed would significantly impact the global problem of mental health disorders and psychological issues. Another gender specific mental health or psychological issue most commonly associated with women than men is Post traumatic Stress Syndrome (PSTD) – specific to sexual violence.
Women and Mental Health: Gender Related Risk Factors
There are several gender related risk factors for mental health and psychological disorders which affect women more than men including: more women than men are subjected to gender based violence, more women than men are socioeconomically disadvantage, more women than men have low incomes or experience income inequity, more women than men have a low social status and more women than men have significant responsibility for taking care of others.
Women and Mental Health: Gender Bias
There is data which supports that gender bias happens consistently in the treatment of psychological disorders. Some of these findings include: physicians are more likely to diagnose depression in women as compared to men (even when scores on standardized test are equivalent), more women than men are likely to receive a prescription for a mood altering psychotropic drug, more women than men seek help for mental health and psychological problems and women are less likely to disclose substance abuse issues and a history of victimization than men.
Mental Health: Anorexia and Acai Berries: Mental Health Link to Acai Berry and Body Image Problems?
Mental Health and Women
Aging and Mental Health: Depression or Memory Loss: Mental Health Information on Ageing
Bad Mental Health is like C-H-A-O-S
Good Mental Health Looks like P-E-A-C-E