Smiling african woman.

Gender and Mental Health Problems Among Women

The dynamics of mental health is mostly determined by complexities such as morbidity, socioeconomic determinants, susceptibility to various physical and mental conditions, and well as cultural influences. It has been determined through mental illness diagnosis over time that gender plays a significant role in the development of a mental health problem. Gender reaction to stress and extreme conditions may birth a significant difference in psychological disorders between a man and a woman.

Is Gender Matters Part of Mental Health?

The differential power that men and women have over their emotions and their social position may affect their mental status, even though there are occasional disparities from the norm. The place of gender in mental health is central, as many cases have buttressed the higher susceptibility of women, through psychological diagnosis, to various mental health issues.

The rate of depression in women, as well as somatic complaints, anxiety, and other problems, are highly predominant in women with a report of 1 in every three people in the society. Women are more likely than men to develop unipolar major depression than men. This form of depression is a leading cause of disability burden worldwide, and its prevalence is twice as much in females. Woman depression is not the only health issue that differentiates the two genders; however, more research is required to fully understand the variances.

The psychological difference between man and woman is undetermined in severe mental health issues such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, which is reported to affect close to 2% of the general population. Although, according to men vs. women statistics, men are more predisposed to alcohol dependencies and other antisocial characteristics than women. What are the possible risk factors in one gender difference in personality disorder?

Gender-Specific Risks For Women

There are so many gender-based roles, social gender impediments, stressors, and negative events and life experiences that either subtly or majorly contribute to high rates off comorbidity, anxiety, depression, and somatic symptoms in women’s mental health.

Psychological differences between the genders are a product of events, imbalance, and the social disadvantages that create a disproportionate existence. These risk factors for women include:

  • Gender-based violence which spans across religious groups, race, culture, ethnicity, geographical location, social status, and educational background
  • Socioeconomic disadvantages that have created high levels of inequality between both genders
  • Lower-income or income inequality at the workplaces and other forms of workplace gender discriminations
  • A subordinate social status and unalleviated responsibilities in catering to others as a goal to reach society’s expectations of “worth.”

Sexual violence is highly prevalent in every community and even in marriages. This act is widespread, and in some cultures, the punishment is exceedingly calm, with judgments that implicate the victim. These occurrences expose women to inadvertently high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sexual violence mostly affects the female gender and is one of the leading causes of gender differences in depression. In spite of the efforts of policymakers, advocacy groups, and human rights regulation bodies, violence against the female gender continues to escalate.

The impact of accumulated psychosocial adversities and underlying experiences leads to a long-term negative effect on the woman and mental health.

Gender Bias About Mental Health Problems in Women

The medical field has also played a significant role in heightening negativity in women mental health through a recurrent bias in psychological analysis. Medical practitioners are more inclined to diagnose depression in females compared to males, even when the characteristics and signs are identical in both genders.

The psychological differences between men and women are inclusive in healthcare. Women are more liable to disclose psychological disorders than men. Men, on the other hand, are more inclined to disclose an alcohol use disorder to a physician than women. Hence, females are prescribed more psychotropic drugs than males.

Gender-based stereotypes on the vulnerability to emotional distress and the ease of developing an alcohol problem in men support social stigma and impede the proper identification of underlying psychological disorders. Here are a few facts that contribute to women’s mental health:

  • Depression and other mental disorders account for 41.9% in women and 29.3% in men
  • Of the 50 million people who are displaced by conflicts, civil wars, and social unrest, 80% of the population is women and children
  • One in five women have fallen victims to attempted rape and rape
  • Violence against women in the society has a prevalence rate of 16% to 50%
  • Dementia, depression, anxiety and organic brain syndrome are the foremost mental illness in adults, of which a majority of the people suffering from these conditions are women

The focus of the World Health Organization and other bodies is to build evidence on the causes and prevalence of mental illnesses in women, implement health policies to tackle the problem, and improve the competencies of primary healthcare workers in dealing with stress, domestic violence, sexual abuse and other derogatory problems in the female gender.