Recent studies have shown that the prevalence rates for any kind of psychological disorder is higher than previously thought. According to World Health Organization, mental health disorders affect almost half of the population and the rate is still on the rise. Yet, mental health problems are still highly underdiagnosed due to doctors’ hesitance for diagnosis and patients’ reluctance to seek help. And it turns out, gender plays a big part in all of this.
Having a mental disorder is correlated to the socioeconomic determinants like social status and treatment by the society. And since women are more likely to experience gender based violence, socioeconomic disadvantage, low income and income inequality perhaps it is not surprising that gender affects how likely a person is to experience certain mental disorders.
Research shows that many common mental disorders such as depression, anxiety and somatic complaints are more likely in women. Unipolar depression, which is predicted to be the second leading mental issue by WHO, is also twice as common in women. On the other hand, some common mental disorders like alcohol dependence and antisocial personality disorder are more likely in men.
The likeliness of treatment is also highly affected by gender. Due to stigmas surrounding men and disclosing emotions, men seem to seek less help from professionals, except problems related to alcohol. Furthermore, doctors are also less likely to diagnose depression in men and prescribe mood altering medication to them.
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