The Truth About Men and Women and Mental Disorders
Excerpt from Behind Happy Faces: Taking Charge of Your Mental Health
©Ross Szabo & Melanie Hall
• Women are more likely to experience depression than males.
• Women are more likely to attempt suicide, but males are more likely to die from it.
• Women are more likely to develop an eating disorder than young men.
• As many as 10 million women currently suffer from anorexia and bulimia. Approximately 25 million more suffer from binge eating disorder. Eating disorders are among the deadliest and most difficult mental disorders to treat.
• Women are more likely to experience generalized anxiety disorder.
• Women are more likely than men to seek help for their problems.
Why are women more at risk? There are several reasons. For one, women are more often the victims of sexual abuse. Females also deal with radical shifts in hormones. Some women are influenced by society’s superficial and unrealistic expectations-thinking they have to be impossibly beautiful like the women they see on magazine or TV-and then berating themselves when they fall short.
And that’s just the physical component. Emotionally, women feel just as much pressure to be perfect-to “please.” They’re expected to have careers and raise children, to be virginal and sexy… it’s no wonder so many young women are left feeling conflicted, inadequate, or overwhelmed. Many are led to believe that they should be seen and not heard, that pleasing others is more important than asserting themselves, and that so long as they’re always “perfect,” they’ll never be alone. These self-limiting beliefs in combination with the stigma already surrounding mental disorders can have a powerfully negative effect-which is why so many women are hesitant to admit their problems.
Mental Health Survival Expert, Campus Calm