Likelihood of Experiencing Mental Illness in Men and Women Essay Example

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Likelihood of Experiencing Mental Illness in Men and Women

Likelihood of Experiencing Mental Illness in Men and Women


Mental illness can be defined as a condition that disrupts a person’s ability to think, feel and be in a certain mood and even one’s ability to relate with others. Most mental illnesses manifest themselves either as emotional distress or abnormal behavior. Mental illnesses can affect anyone at any age, gender, race, religion, income or social status. The most common types of mental illnesses may include; depression, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, postpartum, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, Alzheimer disease among others. Mental disorders are mostly triggered by psychological factors, biological conditions, the environment or genetic factors. They have varying symptoms from delusions, hallucinations to inability to be objective. Some mental conditions can be treated while others, unfortunately, have no existing cures. In a twist of fate, mental illnesses are more likely to affect women than men (National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2013).

Mental Illnesses in Men

Mental disorders in men are less noticeable than in women. This is why some people refer to it as a silent crisis. There was a tendency to ignore mental conditions in men than women; this was because men believed that they would lose their appearance of strength and masculinity. However, this has changed in the recent times with the alarming number of suicides and suicide attempts by men in countries like Canada and the United Kingdom. Statistics put it at every four in five suicides are men; it is killing more men than accidents. Among the mental illnesses affecting men include; postpartum depression, schizophrenia, depression among others.

Due to their silent nature or male ego, it becomes harder to treat their conditions which could result in more severe mental illnesses (Canadian Mental Health Association, 2013). There are many ways for men to try and hide their mental disorders. However, with time or if triggered by a situation we are able to identify some symptoms. These include; aggression or violence, this has been proven with how men change from very caring and compassionate partners to violent and abusive partners to their girlfriends or wives.

Another sign is the inability to keep a job for more than a certain period of time; this could be seen when they experience difficulties in responding to management or relating with colleagues. They could hallucinate or even become delusional, when reality checks in it crashes their self-esteem. Other symptoms may include; constant fatigue, lack of motivation, constant denial of their illness, drastic changes in daily activities like sleeping patterns or hygiene and even suicidal thoughts. It is important to seek professional help once any of these symptoms have been detected and also we should be more supportive and loving when dealing with this kind of situation. If not detected soon, mental illnesses can be harmful to the victim and the people around him especially if the symptoms are aggression or abusive character (Signs of Mental Illness, 2013).

Mental illnesses in women

Just like the men, mental illnesses can affect women at any age, race or even social class. There are certain mental conditions that are more likely in women than in men, these include; depression, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, postpartum disorder and bipolar disorder. Other mental illnesses affecting women include; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, borderline personality disorder and even schizophrenia (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).

The main causes of mental illnesses among women include; state of the economy, neglecting themselves, stress during pregnancy and postpartum period, society stress, poverty, powerlessness among others.

Mental illnesses in women express themselves differently from the men. Some of these symptoms include; delusions, confusion, hallucinations, disinterest from previously interested activities, lower emotional levels, insomnia, physical pain, over sensitiveness, paranoia, extreme weight loss, binging, over feeding, extremely cautious about one’s looks, aggression, extreme energy, overly submissive, restlessness, low appetite, constant mood swings among other symptoms (Signs of Mental Disorders, 2013).

Mental illness in both men and women (how they affect them differently)

It has been scientifically proven that women are more likely to experience mental disorders than men. There are biological and psychophysical factors that have led to this conclusion. Some of them include; reproductive health differences such as premenstrual period, pregnancy, postpartum and postmenopausal period. Also gender differences in thyroid functions, sleep patterns, brain chemicals and hormones lead to the difference in the rates of mental disorders. Psychosocial factors such as; role identity and conflict, physical and sexual abuse, discrimination, poor support system and also poverty have also contributed to the difference in the rate of mental disorders between men and women (Women’s Health Encyclopedia, 2011).

It has also been concluded that the main reasons for the difference in the rate of mental disorders is the way women live their lives. They work more than the men because their work starts at home with the family then extended to the work place and back to the house unlike their counterparts whose work is only at their work place and their homes are for rest. The fatigue and constant worry the women put themselves through has resulted in many women suffering form depressions and even anxiety disorders. The difference in the amount of workload explains why there exists a difference in the rate of mental disorders between the men and women (Mary-Jo Del Vecchio Good, 1997).


It is evident that mental health in both men and women should be regarded with utmost seriousness because the consequences can be as bad as fatal in cases of suicide and violence in victims. Mental disorders are more prevalent in women than men because of differences in their biological, psychological and social factors and this has been clearly demonstrated in the essay. Though research has been done exhaustively to identify these differences it is important that we remain kin when dealing with people so as not to miss out the obvious signs of danger and getting them professional help as soon as possible. Some mental disorders are treatable and some are preventable, therefore we should all play a role in trying to curb this ailment that is threatening to paralyze our society.

List of References

Women’s Health Encyclopedia, 2011. Mental Illness. Retrieved on 14th September, 2013 from <>

Signs of Mental Illness, 2013. Signs of Mental Illness in Women. Retrieved on 14th September, 2013 from < >

National Institute of Mental Health, 2013. Women and Mental Health. Retrieved on 14th September, 2013 from < >

National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2013. Mental Illness. Retrieved on 14th September, 2013 from < >

Good, M. V., 1997. Women and Mental Health. Retrieved on 14th September, 2013 from <>

Signs of Mental Illness, 2013. Signs of Mental Illness in Men. Retrieved on 14th September, 2013 from < >

Canadian Mental Health Association, 2007. Men and Mental Illness. Retrieved on 14th September, 2013 from < >

American Psychiatric Association, 2013. Mental Health. Retrieved on 14th September, 2013 from < >