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Does mental health vary across gender?

Mental health plays an integral and essential component of health in every person’s life. WHO defines health as, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” This definition clearly states that mental health is more than just the absence of mental disorders or disabilities. It is a state of well-being in which an individual is aware of their abilities, can cope with the normal everyday stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to contribute to society.

Determinants of mental health

Multiple factors including social, psychological, and biological determine the level of mental health of a person at different points of time. For example, violence and persistent socio-economic pressures are recognized as huge risks to mental health.

Poor mental health can also be associated with rapid changes in social or work environment, gender-based discrimination, social exclusion, unhealthy lifestyle, physical health problems and human rights violations, and so on.

There are specific psychological and personality factors that can make people more prone to mental health problems. Biological risks arise from genetic factors.

World Health Organization response to mental health

WHO supports all governments in the goal of strengthening and promoting mental health within their respective countries. WHO has evaluated the evidence for promoting mental health and it is working with various government agencies to disseminate this information and to integrate effective strategies into policies and plans suitable to the needs of their countries

In 2013, the World Health Assembly approved a “Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan for 2013-2020”. This Plan is a commitment by all WHO’s the Member States to take specific actions to improve mental health within their States and to contribute to the attainment of a set of global targets.

This Plan’s overall goal is to promote mental well-being, prevent mental disorders, provide care, enhance recovery, promote human rights, and reduce the mortality, morbidity, and disability for persons with mental disorders.

Gender-specific risk factors

Depression, anxiety, somatic symptoms, and high comorbidity rates are strongly related to risk factors that are intertwined and co-occurring, such as gender-based roles, stressors, and traumatic experiences and events in life.

Gender-specific risk factors that disproportionately impact women for common mental illnesses include gender-based abuse, socio-economic deprivation, low income, and income disparity, low or subordinate social status, and rank and unremitting accountability for others’ treatment.

Women are the largest single group of people affected by this condition because of the high incidence of sexual assault to which women are subjected and the correspondingly high occurrence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ( PTSD) following such violence. There was no adequate investigation of the mental health effects of long-term, cumulative psychosocial adversity.

Gender disparity and the prevalence of common mental illnesses are greatly exacerbated by economic and social policies that cause rapid, disruptive, and extreme changes to wealth, jobs, and social capital that cannot be regulated or prevented.


Women are more likely to have been treated for any mental health problem/disorder than men (29% compared to 17%). This could be because, when asked, women are more likely to report and recognize symptoms of common mental health problems that they encounter (Better Or Worse: A Longitudinal Study Of The Mental Health Of Adults In Great Britain, National Statistics, 2003)

Even depression is more common in women as compared to men. 1 in every 4 women will require treatment for depression at some time, compared to 1 in every 10 men. The reasons for this are unclear, but can most likely be due to both social, environmental and biological factors. It has been suggested that depression in men might have been under diagnosed because they present to their general physician with different symptoms including a range of physical and stress related symptoms rather than psychological symptoms. (National Institute For Clinical Excellence, 2003)

Women are twice likely to experience anxiety in comparison to men. Even among people with phobias or OCD, about 60% are female (The Office for National Statistics Psychiatric Morbidity report, 2001).


Men are more likely to have an alcohol or drug problem as compared to women. 67% of British people who consume alcohol are at ‘hazardous’ levels, and 80% of those people who are dependent on alcohol are males. Also, three-quarters of people dependent on cannabis, and 69% of those dependent on other illegal drugs are males (The Office for National Statistics Psychiatric Morbidity report, 2001). Therefore, males are more likely to develop substance abuse and related problems as compared to their female counterparts.

Differences in the extent of mental health problems

Mental health problems affect women and men equally, but some are more common among women due to their lifestyle, position in society, and so on. Abuse is a common factor that leads to mental health problems among women. Treatment needs to be sensitive to different genders to avoid creating any gender differences.Various social factors also put women at greater risk of poor mental health as compared to men. However, women’s readiness to talk about their feelings, ability to discuss problems, and their strong social support groups help them protect their mental health.


Gender and women’s mental health. (2013, June 24). Retrieved November 06, 2020, from

Gender differences in Mental Health. (n.d.). Retrieved November 06, 2020, from

Mental health: Strengthening our response. (n.d.). Retrieved November 06, 2020, from

What do you think?

530 Points

Written by Srishti Sabharwal

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Nidhi Dahiya

Amazing work

Ilhaam Shaik

Glad to know more about this! Thank you!

Sreejita Sarkar

It’s remarkably well written. Your intensive research shows in your work. The statistics make everything clear. Some case study to support your material would go a long way. Yet I hold immense admiration for your work.

Ekta Mishra

A well written article. Very informative and makes us understand as to why men and women may react differently to same situation. Kudos to you

Grisha Vora

True, I also agree that this article is really great and very well revised.

Sajjithra Subbian

Hii srishti you done a great work keep going

Fiona Buthello

Nice article… Well explained….. Keep writing such beautiful articles….

Sayeeda Zaiba

Great effort Shrishti. You’ve explained the topic well and in simple terms for the readers. It’s great that you’re putting in so much work and effort to bring this piece to work to us.
If you don’t mind I just wanted to ask if there are any reports or statistics out there that explore the topic of mental health beyond the two genders? Today when gender has evolved into so much more than just two categories, it is still a very difficult topic to discuss in the society which tends to have a mental effect on people who belong to the other genders apart from the gender only being male or female.

Diksha Tarnekar

Very informative. Good work. Keep it up.

Isra Meraj

Hey Srishti, I have read the article and I must say that it was very informative. I just love the way you categorized every situation. I don’t want to criticize your work because I can see your efforts but would like to suggest to keep the articles short and adding pictures to the article. Long articles make the person lose interest while reading it and colorful pictures draw attention and they won’t find it boring. Please take it in a positive way.
Overall, your work is amazing

Sanyogita Sharma

Nice work and style of writing along with all knowledgeable stuff. Also women suffer from Postpartum depression (PPD) which is a complex mix of physical, emotional, and behavioral changes that happen in some women after giving birth. So can be included here i guess.

Vidhi Gupta

This is a really interesting topic and a well written article.

Shraddha S. Kambli

Nice work and very informative. Keep it up.

Sree rekha k zenith

Mental health issues have been discussed world wide. You took effort to Diffenciate between the problems of men and women. It’s good

Simran Nair

Mental health prevalence can vary across genders and cultures. Thus, this topic is interesting. Very well- written.


Good work!

Ranjima Raveendran

Very well written. The concept of gender has actually given rise to many mantel health issues as mentioned in this article. ‘Feminization Of Poverty’ is another concept that explains how women experience poverty in the areas of education, status etc other than just wealth. This also leads to mental health issues. Really nice concept.


Wonderful work, very informative….keep it up

Kanishka Mendiratta

Great work!
You have used the genuine and authentic information and this article is of marvellous knowledge.
Your efforts are totally reflecting.

Radhika Suresh Nair

This is wonderful… The topics have been covered very nicely. The above mentioned risk-factors for males and females are presented in a clear-cut way.

Sneha Agrawal

According to APA,women with anxiety disorders are more likely to internalize emotions,which results in turn in withdrawal,loneliness&depression.Basically the differences in these liabilities to internalize and to externalize that accounted for gender differences in prevalence rates for many mental disorders.Nice facts presented in the article mate!!✨

Jerry Joy Mathew

I believe the statistics is greatly affected by the fact that men are less likely to be expressive about their emotions due to the fear of being tagged “weak” by the society. Also, the genetic and evolutionary perspectives need to be discussed. Men were hunters and gatherers while women were the ones who’d make optimum use of those resources and would think and act well instead of impulsively, which might be a link to their anxiety issues and such. Love the content and looking forward to more.

Richa Barua

Very informative and easily understandable. How it started with the description of mental health and ended with the differences was very much needed.


i feel that mental health is important despite of the gender of a person. great work though.

Tanisha Jain

Well researched, Shruti. Would you attribute some of these disparities in reports of which gender is more likely to affected by which disorder to biases on the part of the practitioners diagnosing the disorder?

Akshita Wasnik

Very nicely written and structured, great work. I personally loved the mention of stats.

Yashaswini Bhat

Srishti Sabharwal you have chosen a unique topic that’s really commendable. You really have a great pagination skill. The way you have structured the article is also good. keep up the good work


Clearly explained the variations between both the genders. I like how you used the stats too. Make the article more believable. Great

Navleen Kaur

Amazing article and a needed one. Many people downplay men’s mental health which is unfair and it should be given equal importance.

Grisha Vora

I would like to appreciate the way you explained the gender specific risk about mental illnesses but there were some things which I felt should be improved. Like:
1. You could have cut down your introduction part and tried adding more into your gist.
2. This article would have been more relevant if you would have tried and find some of the latest statistics.
Rest of your content was good and to the point.
Keep going
Take care!!

Ami Kukadia

Some of the information was new for me. Very well written.

Prerna Dash

This was a very well written article and an eye opener for many. There were some facts which many people didn’t know about. Great job and keep it up.

Aanchal Sharma

Great work shristi!!
The way you put your thoughts in this article is great. But i would like to suggest you that you could have add more detailed or specific conclusion at the end. And i think you should put pictures or graphs or something to make it more interesting. Otherwise your work is good.
Keep going..
Keep it up

Aanandi khanna

Very informative


I like that you included statics in this as it’s very nice to know the exact number or the total problem this is really very informative.

Rashmi Parab

It’s remarkably well written. Your intensive research shows in your work. The statistics make everything clear. Some case study to support your material would go a long way. Yet I hold immense admiration for your work.

Sakthiswaari R M D

This article is very useful . It helps in comparing the ratios between the men and the women those who are affected by the mental disorders. According to this article women are said to be the most affected persons but i object that case because there are men who are afraid to expose themselves having the disorders which could affect their whole family. According to the recent surveys the number of men affected by the mental disorder are also increasing than the past few years and especially during this pandemic period.
the author could have written this article with reference to the recent statistics


amazing and informative article. I feel that the reason that women are more likely too seek psychological help has something to do with society’s belief that “real men don’t feel pain”. Men might be lead to believe that somehow identifying and treating their mental state would conflict with their masculinity and that they would be weak to ask for help.

Sneha Goswami

Hi !
Your article is extremely well written and informative. The flow of the article is amazing and its a delightful read. The article needs no change except a relevance between the introduction and the rest of the subheadings. Rest, the article is perfect. I absolutely loved reading it.
Best wishes,

Harnaaz kaur

Wow! You’ve put in so munch of efforts and presented this masterpiece which surely is very well researched.

I’m studying a psychology Honours and it was really interesting to read all this!

Thank you! Sending Power your way.

Vinaya Parthasarathy

This was such an in-depth article, I’m really glad I read it. It was wonderful!!

Ayeman Qamri

Very well written. The title was eye-catching but I felt the introduction could have been a bit better. Rest it was amazing. You can try adding a few pictures and some flow charts and graphs for the statistical data, it helps the reader to be a bit more engaged. Overall the article is really nice and informative.

Vanshika sharma

Amazing work! Great research work, everything is supported by statistics. I just have one suggestion, next time please include other genders also apart from male and female. We are trying to normalise these things and your initiative can also contribute towards changing people’s mentality.

Riya Shah

Your article is extremely well written and informative. The acknowledgment of the various issues faced by both the genders and their own coping and strategies. But it often makes me wonder, isn’t it necessary for us as society to evolve and move beyond the rigid fixation of gender boundaries? Regardless of the gender, emphasis should be placed on the personality and various coping mechanisms used by an individual beyond their gender so that, we are in a better position to help them effectively. Also, the need of the hour is, to make Mental Health conquer the gender stereotypes and make it accessible for one and all.

Siya Naik

The article is very informative. The explanation given is easy to understand. The topic itself is very intresting and you have covered it very nicely.


As a woman, it was a very interesting read and I am sure any man would learn to treat the ladies around in a better way after reading this, thank you for putting in the effort and Sharing this with us!
I would , however , recommend that you add remarks or examples of people who have been through experiences and are suffering from PTSD, etc, so the post held more impact. Case studies are always appreciated.

Kirti manaktala

This article is concise and amazing. It was engaging and informative. I loved reading it.
looking forward to reading more content.
stay safe and take care

Yuvanue chauhan

Great and loved the way how yiu explained by providing statistics how both genderS affected differently by mental disorder.
Keep it up.

Sani Lavakush

It is such a great article. It has always been known to us that women are more likely to suffer from a mental illness. But through this article, you have also mentioned the stats and the reason behind it.


Very minutely distinguished..Portrays your efforts. Lot More informative

Chestha Dengri

A really informative article,indeed! Though I wish you had elaborate even further .


Very informative..


Hi Srishti. I read your article and I found it really informative and it was a really detailed article. Mental health across genders is a very important topic that is often neglected. The article would have been great if it also included the third gender and shed some light on their mental health issues and if it would have been precise and short. Otherwise keep up the great work