Mental Health

The gender dimension of mental health is related to the power and control that women and men have over the factors affecting their psychological well-being. Gender-specific risk factors for common mental disorders that disproportionately affect women include gender-based violence, socio-economic disadvantage, low income and income inequality, low or subordinate social status and unremitting responsibility for the care of others. Gender differences occur particularly in the rates of common psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety and sleep disorders – areas in which women suffer more than men. Studies show gender bias among physicians in the diagnosis, treatment and prescription of mood-altering psychotropic drugs. Women’s high exposure to sexual violence makes them more prone to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). More research is needed to develop effective prevention campaigns and services and to make treatment more gender-sensitive and readily available.
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