Global Emergency of Mental Disorders: Chapter 19 - Women

Elsevier, Global Emergency of Mental Disorders, 2021, Pages 353-364
Jahangir Moini, Justin Koenitzer, and Anthony LoGalbo

Mental disorders can affect women differently than men. Disorders that are more common in women include anxiety and depression, and some disorders are unique to women. They may experience symptoms of mental disorders at times of hormonal changes, including perinatal depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and perimenopause-related depression. Disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder do not occur in extremely different rates between women and men, but the individual symptoms are often very different. The course of illness may also be affected by gender. Research has shown that physicians are more likely to diagnose women with a mental illness than they are to apply the same diagnosis to male patients. There are risk factors that are specific to women with regard to mental disorders. These risk factors include socioeconomic disadvantages, violence, low income and income inequality, lower social status, and responsibilities of caring for children and family members. Reducing the overpresentation of women who are depressed could greatly reduce the global burden of disability caused by psychological disorders.