Sex and Psychology - Mental Health

Mental Health

Childhood conduct disorder and adult antisocial personality disorder as well as substance use disorders are more common in men. Many mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders are more common in women. One explanation is that men externalize stress while women internalize it. Gender differences vary to some degree for different cultures. Women are more likely than men to show unipolar depression. One 1987 study found little empirical support for several proposed explanations, including biological ones, and argued that when depressed women tend to ruminate which may lower the mood further while men tend to distract themselves with activities. This may develop from men and women being raised differently.

Men and women do not differ on their overall rates of psychopathology, however, certain disorders are more prevalent in women, and vice versa. Women have higher rates of anxiety and depression (internalizing disorders) and men have higher rates of substance abuse and antisocial disorders (externalizing disorders). It is believed that divisions of power and the responsibilities set upon each sex are critical to this predisposition. Namely, women earn less money than men do, they tend to have jobs with less power and autonomy, and women are more responsive to problems of people in their social networks. These three differences can contribute to women's predisposition to anxiety and depression. It is believed that socializing practices that encourage high self-regard and mastery would benefit the mental health of both men and women.

One study interviewed 18,572 respondents, aged 18 and over, about 15 phobic symptoms. These symptoms would yield diagnoses based on criteria for agoraphobia, social phobia, and simple phobia. Women had significantly higher prevalence rates of agoraphobia and simple phobia, however there were no differences, found between men and women, in social phobia. The most common phobias for both men and women involved spiders, bugs, mice, snakes, and heights. The biggest differences between men and women in these disorders, were found on the agoraphobic symptoms of “going out of the house alone” and “being alone,” and on two simple phobic symptoms, involving the fear of “any harmless or dangerous animal” and “storms,” respectively for men and women. There were no differences in the age of onset, reporting a fear on the phobic level, telling a doctor about symptoms, or the recall of past symptoms.

One study interviewed 2,181 people in Detroit, aged 18–45, seeking to explain gender differences in exposure to traumatic events and in the development or emergence of post traumatic stress disorder following this exposure. It was found that lifetime prevalence of traumatic events was a little higher in men than in women. However, following exposure to a traumatic event, the risk for PTSD was two times higher in women. It is believed this difference is due to the greater risk women have of developing PTSD after a traumatic event that involved assaultive violence. In fact, the probability of a woman developing PTSD following assaultive violence was 36% compared to 6% of men. The duration of PTSD is longer in women, as well.

Men and women are both equally likely at developing symptoms of schizophrenia, but the onset occurs earlier for men. It has been suggested that sexually dimorphic brain anatomy, the differential effects of estrogens and androgens, and the heavy exposure of male adolescents to alcohol and other toxic substances can lead to this earlier onset in men. It is believed that estrogens have a protective effect against the symptoms of schizophrenia. Although, it has been shown that other factors can contribute to the delayed onset and symptoms in women, estrogens have a large effect, as can be seen during a pregnancy. In pregnancy, estrogen levels are rising in women, so women who have had recurrent acute episodes of schizophrenia did not usually break down. However, after pregnancy, when estrogen levels have dropped, women tend to suffer from postpartum psychoses. Also, psychotic symptoms are exacerbated when during the menstrual cycle, estrogen levels are at their lowest. In addition, estrogen treatment has yielded beneficial effects in patients with schizophrenia.

Pathological gambling has been known to a higher prevalence rate, 2:1, in men to women. One study chose to identify gender-related differences by examining male and female gamblers, who were using a gambling helpline. There was 562 calls placed, and of this amount, 62.1% were men, and 37.9% were women. Male gamblers were more likely to report problems with strategic forms of gambling (blackjack or poker), and female gamblers were more likely to report problems with nonstrategic forms, such as slots or bingo. Male gamblers were also more likely to report a longer duration of gambling than women. Female gamblers were more likely to report receiving mental health treatment that was not related to gambling. Male gamblers were more likely to report a drug problem or being arrested on account of gambling. There were high rates of debt and psychiatric symptoms related to gambling observed in both groups of men and women.

There are also differences regarding gender and suicide. Males in Western societies are much more likely to die from suicide despite females having more suicide attempts.

The "extreme male brain theory" views autism as an extreme version of male-female differences regarding "systemizing" and empathizing abilities. The "imprinted brain theory" argues that autism and psychosis are contrasting disorders on a number of different variables and that this is caused by an unbalanced genomic imprinting favoring paternal genes (autism) or maternal genes (psychosis).

Read more about this topic:  Sex And Psychology

Other articles related to "mental, mental health, health":

Sexual Orientation Change Efforts - Debate - Forced SOCE
... the 1970s, homosexuality was considered a mental illness and homosexuals were forced by the government to undergo treatment ... to which Pitcherskaia had been subjected constituted mental and physical torture ... Journal that this is due to an "historic reluctance of consumers of mental health services to sue their care givers" and "the difficulty associated with establishing the elements of.. ...
Lisa Miller (parapsychologist)
... Miller has worked for two decades to integrate spirituality into mainstream research on mental health and wellness publishing over 75 empirical peer review article on spirituality and mental health in leading medical ... on the spiritual awareness of children, adolescents and mothers, and benefits to mental health and wellness of spiritual awareness ...
Long-term Effects Of Benzodiazepines - Symptoms - Mental and Physical Health
... benzodiazepine use may lead to the creation or exacerbation of physical and mental health conditions, which improve after 6 or more months of abstinence ... of abstinence after completion of a gradual-reduction regime, marked improvements in mental and physical wellbeing become apparent ... and anxiety problems, were less distressed, and had a general feeling of improved health ...
St. Luke's House - Programs
... The Mental Health Clinic provides mental health treatment services to the general community as a licensed outpatient mental health clinic by the Maryland Mental Hygiene Administration ... The Career Transition Program provides high school students with mental health concerns and their families a combination of mental health and career/vocational services ...
Mental Health Policies in The United States
... The mental health policies in the United States have experienced four major reforms the American asylum movement led by Dorothea Dix in 1843 the “mental hygiene” movement ... he received and the deplorable conditions in the mental hospital ... One year later, the National Committee for Mental Hygiene (NCMH) was founded by a small group of reform-minded scholars and scientist – including Beer himself ...

Famous quotes containing the words health and/or mental:

    It is not stressful circumstances, as such, that do harm to children. Rather, it is the quality of their interpersonal relationships and their transactions with the wider social and material environment that lead to behavioral, emotional, and physical health problems. If stress matters, it is in terms of how it influences the relationships that are important to the child.
    Felton Earls (20th century)

    You don’t want to be an animal, you want to observe your own animal functions, so as to get a mental thrill out of them. It is all purely secondary—and more decadent than the most hide-bound intellectualism.
    —D.H. (David Herbert)