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


couple with relationship problemsA new analysis done by Professor Daniel Freeman of Oxford University says that women are much more likely to develop mental health conditions than are men.

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, especially where mental health issues are concerned. Millions of people in the UK 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 are about 60 percent more likely to report an anxiety disorder. On the other hand, it found men are more likely to report to experience and subsequently report a condition that is related to substance abuse. Men who fell into this category did about two-and-a-half times more frequently 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 due to the fact that 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 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 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. Women tend to suffer more from what are commonly known as “internal problems” like depression or sleep problems, Freeman said. When something goes wrong they take the problem out on themselves. Conversely, men engage in externalizing, where they take things out on their environment, such as anger or drinking problems.

There is also a complex mix 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 affect millions of people. This makes any such imbalance a public health issue and worth addressing.

Works 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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Filed under: Mental Illness, Research · Tags: gender differences and mental health, men and women, mental health, Prof. Daniel Freeman, sex differences and mental health is operated by Recovery Brands LLC, a subsidiary of American Addiction Centers, Inc.
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