Differences Between the Mental Health of Men and Women

A woman struggling with a mental health disorder looks out the window.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in 5 adults in the United States experienced mental illness in 2021. Mental illness does not discriminate. However, there are some key differences between the mental health of men and women, such as biological differences, stigma, and even the differences in seeking treatment between men and women. In this article, you’ll learn more about the many differences between the mental health of men and women to better understand why mental health disorders and treatment is often different among each gender. 

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4 Mental Health Differences Between Men and Women

From stigma between genders to the likelihood of someone seeking treatment, below are several mental health differences between men and women. 

  1. Frequency and Type of Mental Health Disorder

First, the frequency and type of mental health disorders that impact each gender are important to understand. Men and women experience differences in the type of disorders they struggle more with. For example, women are more likely to struggle with depression and anxiety than men. However, men are more likely to struggle with substance use disorders than women. This is not to say women don’t struggle with addiction, just that men struggle at higher rates with substance abuse compared to women.

  1. Stigma Differs Between Gender

Stigma and asking for help is another key difference between the mental health of men and women. Although open and honest conversations surrounding mental health are becoming more and more normalized, women tend to experience less stigma than men when it comes to opening up about their mental health struggles. Likewise, women typically are more likely to open up about their mental health struggles than men. This can be due to a range of factors, including societal expectations around gender and vulnerability when talking about mental health.

  1. Prevalence Of Seeking Treatment 

Next, more women than men typically seek treatment for their mental health struggles. This can be caused by a variety of factors, especially men experiencing more stigma than women surrounding opening up about their mental health struggles. Unfortunately, this can lead men who don’t seek treatment to turn to unhealthy means to cope with their mental health struggles, like abusing drugs and alcohol. 

  1. Social Differences

Last but not least, men and women experience different social and cultural expectations, which may impact stress and mental health issues they may struggle with. For example, women tend to feel stressed surrounding pressures to meet rigid beauty standards, which can increase a woman’s risk of struggling with certain conditions like an eating disorder. Meanwhile, men are expected to be less emotional and, as a result of this societal expectation, men are typically less likely to seek help if they are struggling with mental illness. This also explains why many men struggling with mental illness may turn to drugs or alcohol, rather than seeking out help from others. 

Ready to Lead a Healthier, Happier Life? 

Now you know more about the differences between the mental health of men and women. Although mental illness does not discriminate between genders, there are differences when it comes to stigma between genders, the prevalence of who seeks treatment, and even how each gender copes with mental illness that can often differ. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness, it’s important to seek professional support to better manage your condition. 

Hammocks on the Edisto is a dual diagnosis treatment center that helps women break free from addiction and find support for mental health conditions. We offer women’s anxiety treatment and depression treatment to help our clients find gender-specific support that addresses the complexities of mental health in women. Contact us today to learn how we can best support your road to recovery. 

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