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Women More Likely to Develop Mental Health Problems, According to Study


Women are more likely to develop mental health problems, according to a study by Professor Daniel Freeman of Oxford University. The findings of the study, which is based on data from other epidemiological studies from the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe, present significant ramifications for public health.

According to Freeman’s study, women are almost 75% more likely than their male counterparts to report recent difficulties with depression and about 60% are more likely to report an anxiety disorder. On the other hand, men are more likely to experience and report a condition that is related to substance abuse.

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 since the conditions affecting women were more common than those affecting men, overall mental health problems were more common in women than in men by a factor of 20% to 40%.

The results are based on a 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, The Stressed Sex. For the purposes of this analysis, only large-scale studies which 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,” like depression or sleep disturbances. When something goes wrong women tend to internalize the problem, while conversely, men tend to externalize problems, taking things out on their environment through anger or drinking problems, for example. There is also a complex mix of contributing factors that determine the differences between the genders.

Since mental health problems are so pervasive and affect so many people, an imbalance could affect millions of people. This makes any such imbalance a public health issue and worth addressing.


Sources Cited:

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: Conditions and Disorders, Latest News, Research · Tags: anxiety, depression, Freeman, gender, men, mental health, mental health disorders, Oxford University, Problems, sleep disturbances, study, substance abuse, women is operated by Recovery Brands LLC, a subsidiary of American Addiction Centers, Inc.
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