Women are up to 40% more likely than men to develop mental health conditions, according to new analysis by a clinical psychologist at Oxford University.
The finding, based on analysis of epidemiological studies from the UK, US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, has significant consequences for public health, according to Prof Daniel Freeman, who said that as millions of people in the UK alone were affected by mental illness, the consequences of gender disparities were widespread. Mental health campaigners said GPs needed to be aware of such disparities when deciding how to commission resources for treatment and support.
According to Freeman's study, women are approximately 75% more likely than men to report having recently suffered from depression, and around 60% more likely to report an anxiety disorder.
Men are more likely to report substance misuse disorders – around two and a half times more frequently than women. Conditions such as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and schizophrenia did not have statistically significant differences between genders in adults.
The Stressed Sex
Uncovering the Truth About Men, Women, and Mental Health
Daniel Freeman and Jason Freeman
Uncovers the differences between rates of psychological disorder for men and women.