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New Study Reveals Women More Likely Than Men to Develop Mental Health Problems


A new analysis done by Professor Daniel Freeman of Oxford University has found that women are much more likely than men to develop a mental health condition. The findings of the study, which is based on data from other epidemiological studies from the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe present significant ramifications for public health. Millions of people in the U.K. alone were affected by mental illness.

According to Dr. Freeman’s study, women are almost 75 percent more likely than their male counterparts to report recent difficulties with depression and about 60 percent more likely to report suffering from an anxiety disorder.

On the other hand, men are more likely to experience and subsequently report a condition that is related to substance abuse. Men were about two-and-a-half times more likely to fall into this category than women.

Other conditions, such as schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), failed to show any statistically significant differences among genders in adults.

The authors of the study said that, overall, mental health problems were more common in women than in men by a factor of 20 percent to 40 percent.

The results are based on data analysis of 12 large-scale epidemiological studies done across the globe since the 1990’s. The findings of the study are published in Freeman’s new book. For the purposes of this analysis only large-scale studies that drew from the general population were used. However, the method of gathering data from various sources is not the “gold standard” or preferred “formal meta-analysis.”

There is a visible pattern that can be discerned from the gathered data. According to Freeman, women tend to suffer more from what are commonly known as “internal problems,” such as depression or sleep problems. When something goes wrong, they take the problem out on themselves. Conversely, men engage in externalizing, where they take things out on their environment, as is the case with anger or drinking problems. There is also a complex combination of contributing factors that determine the differences between the genders.

Because mental health problems are so pervasive and affect so many people, an imbalance could mean millions more women will suffer from mental health problems in any given year than men. This makes any such imbalance a public health issue worth addressing.


Ball, James. “Women 40% More Likely than Men to Develop Mental Illness, Study Finds.”The Guardian., 22 May 2013. Web. 23 May 2013.


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Kevin Giles is a product of Santa Cruz, CA – the stoner capitol of the world. A born again Christian, Kevin loves his Lord Jesus and believes that his purpose in life is determined by God. He first entered drug recovery at the age of 19, suffering from an addiction to marijuana. He is a recent graduate of the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, where he earned his Master’s degree in Christian Ministry. Passionate about God’s Word, he aspires to become a pastor or missionary. Kevin has also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from California State University, Monterey Bay. His interests include traveling, movies, golf, fitness and reading. He also enjoys being outdoors as well as spending time with friends and family. Kevin’s faith, education and life experience give him a unique perspective on addiction, recovery and spirituality.

Filed under: Mental Illness, Research · Tags: anxiety, depression, gender and mental illness, women and anxiety, women and depression is operated by Recovery Brands LLC, a subsidiary of American Addiction Centers, Inc.
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