Mental Illness Affects Women, Men Differently, Study
TUESDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Certain types of mental
illnesses affect either men or women more often, a new study
Men are more likely to be diagnosed with substance abuse or
antisocial disorders while women are more likely to develop anxiety
or depression, according to the researchers.
These findings show the need for gender-specific prevention and
treatment efforts, said the study authors, who analyzed data
collected in 2001 and 2002 from 43,000 people who took part in a
U.S. National Institutes of Health survey.
Differences in how women and men internalize and externalize
emotions may explain gender variations in the rates of many mental
health problems, the team suggested.
Women with anxiety disorders are more likely to keep their
emotions inside, which can lead to withdrawal, loneliness and
depression. Men are more likely to express and show their emotions,
which can lead to aggressive, impulsive or coercive behavior.
The study was published in the Aug. 17 online edition of the
Journal of Abnormal Psychology.
The researchers suggested different ways of treating women and
men with mental health disorders.
"In women, treatment might focus on coping and cognitive skills to help prevent rumination [as in thinking or reflecting on something too much] from developing into clinically significant depression or anxiety," lead author Nicholas Eaton, of the University of Minnesota, said in a journal news release.
"In men, treatment for impulsive behaviors might focus on rewarding planned actions and shaping aggressive tendencies into non-destructive behavior," he added.
The American Psychiatric Association has more about
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