Mental Illnesses in Women vs Men

Problematic stigmas prevail in mental illness whether you are male or female. As a woman with bipolar, I can attest that the stigma is real and it is harsh. I learned early on to hide my disorder. Otherwise, I would be labeled as “crazy” or “incapable” or just not taken seriously at all. How does society judge men who have mental illness?

Facts:

Mental illnesses affect women differently than men.

  • Gender specific risk factors for common mental disorders that disproportionately affect women include gender based violence, socioeconomic disadvantage, low income and income inequality, low or subordinate social status and rank and responsibility for the care of others.
  • Unipolar depression is twice as common in women as it is in men
  • Substance use disorders are twice as high in men as they are in women
  • Men are three times more likely to be diagnosed with antisocial personality disorders than women (psychopaths and sociopaths)
  • There are no marked differences in prevalence of severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar between the genders
  • Disability from mental illness falls most heavily on those who experience three or more comorbid disorders. Here, women predominate.
  • Women are roughly three times more likely to attempt suicide, though men are two to four times more likely to die from suicide. Women show a much higher rate of suicidal thinking, non-fatal suicidal behavior, and suicide attempts.
  • The high prevalence of sexual violence to which women are exposed and the high rate of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following such violence, renders women the largest single group of people affected by this disorder.
  • Women with anxiety disorders are more likely to internalize emotions, which typically results in withdrawal, loneliness and depression. Men are more likely to externalize emotions, which leads to aggressive, impulsive, coercive and noncompliant behavior

Stigma

Gender stereotypes (i.e. women have more emotional problems and men have more substance use problems) reinforce social stigma and constrain help seeking along stereotypical lines.

So not only is it society that judges you for your mental issues. Doctors do too.

Let’s talk about social stigma. Is it not true that a man with a drinking problem can be written off as a “beer aficionado” or a “wine collector”? While a woman with a drinking problem is harshly judged as immoral, a lush or a drunk. As my mother taught me, a lady does not get drunk.

How about a woman suffering from depression? Is she not labeled as being “lazy” or a “drama queen” or a “bad mother”? Yet if a man with depression can’t get to work because he can’t get out of bed…send him straight to the mental hospital! Put him on suicide watch!

I’m not saying there are no stigmas of men who fight mental illness. For one thing, men are much less likely to seek medical treatment for fear of appearing weak.

In my opinion, men are taken much more seriously when they do seek help and are also not judged as harshly as women.

Women are more likely to attempt suicide but not die. Society says: she was just seeking attention. But this isn’t true. Men die more from suicide because they tend to choose more violent, lethal methods such a firearms, jumping, and hanging. Women usually choose to attempt suicide by overdosing on pills.

Stigma prevents men from seeking help because they don’t want to be “weak” or “sissies”. Women with children face fears of being branded as an unstable or unfit mother leading many women to hide their mental health problems. While men fear shame, women fear blame.

I do not like to play the victim. I am white, educated and middle class. But….we women still have a long way to go in terms of equality.

We have to deal with periods, PMS, taking birth control (can’t trust a man with that, sorry guys), then we carry babies for ten (not nine) months, give birth, breastfeed, and do (usually) the majority of the child raising.

Oh and we have to work full time throughout all of this, cook, clean, help with homework, run errands while hubby (if you even have one) watches football. If I sound bitter, I am. Guilty!

I can hear Super Mom out there saying “yes but we, as mothers, get to have that bond with our children”. True, until about age 13 when they decide that they hate you and they suddenly prefer their dad. I’ll say to my 15 year old son “don’t you remember that trip we took or that time we went camping or how I used to take you to the gun range every weekend?” Nope! All of that time and nurturing….and he doesn’t remember. But he remembers the one time his dad took him to the zoo.

Back to my point; as women we already have so much more “stuff” going on than men. AND, we end up having the majority of mental health problems. And negative stigmas to fight.

I have never burned my bra. I am pro-life. But I am a feminist. Not all feminists are cut from the same cloth. I believe we women deserve to be treated as equals. Maybe men can’t give birth. But they damned well put in 51% of the child raising! And some do. Fabulous. But too many don’t.

The workplace? Medical insurance? They have quite a ways to go for women. I don’t care if it’s the government or my employer who pays for it but I want 4-6 months PAID maternity leave for moms. I want mandatory flexible schedules and workplaces for moms. And (this maybe the only time you hear this Libertarian say this) this needs to be a law!

You think corporate America is going to just offer this? Maybe if you work for a large progressive company. All of the rest of us are racing to daycare at 6:30am, grinding out 9 hours of pressure-filled work, collecting our paycheck which is 70% of a man’s, racing back to daycare ti home to start Job #2 also known as Mom Duty. Dinner, dishes, homework, baths, bedtime…while hubby watches football. No wonder we’ve got mental illnesses, people!!!

What can we do? I’m good at asking questions but not so good with solutions. What do you think? Please let me know. I know you’ve got an opinion!

Hugs, 👍🏻✝️🧸💥

17 thoughts on “Mental Illnesses in Women vs Men

    1. I get all of my data from sites like the APA. If it’s a stereotype, so be it. I’m reporting what’s in mainstream media and studies from the NHO, the Mayo Clinic etc. Is it all 100% gospel? Of course not. Half, if not more than half, of medical scientific data is theoretical. Studies done on rats, not humans. Hell, scientists still can’t explain how lithium works! Lithium is possibly the oldest psychiatric med still being used today. They’ve had decades to figure it out! And look at the very first DSM. Homosexuality was listed as a mental illness. It should be called “The DSM: May not be facts but we’re gonna go with it anyway”

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  1. You know I’m totally on board with your opinions of the DSM and I don’t doubt your data at all. As the stay-at-home dad with bipolar disorder who tries to eke out a living as a freelance writer while my mentally stable wife earns the bulk of the money, including benefits. I’m the homework parent who brings the kids to their appointments and makes dinner most nights. It felt like a role reversal reading your stigma section of that entry. She still did deliver the babies, though.

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    1. I think I said “most” women are in that situation with the hubs in his man cave while she’s doing everything else. I didn’t mean to stereotype. If I did, I apologize. I know of men who are primary caregivers. My marriage was the hubs watching football while I literally went crazy trying to keep a hundred plates spinning in the air. I owned a business. I was primary bread winner. I was housewife, mom, basically manager of home and family. He worked and occasionally changed a diaper. Yay….give him a medal. Yes I’m still bitter! What I want women to hear is…you don’t have to do it all. Say no. If I’d have hade an issue out of it he probably would have stepped up. But in my messed up mind (this was pre bipolar diagnosis) I liked being the martyr. I bragged to anyone who would listen how I “did it all”. In retrospect, that was dumb. If you’ve got kids, you both work, you’ve got to divvy up the responsibilities 50/50. Period. I know women whose husbands just refused. They were drunks or always at work. In a situation like that, I don’t have much advice. I’d never advise someone, especially a stranger to divorce. Break up a family. My divorce was the most traumatic thing ever. I watched my child fall apart and end up, at age 10, getting treated for depression. Just about killed me. I tell women I know “never get divorced”. Take it from someone who’s done it! It is hell

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      1. It sounds like it. And I do know that there are a ton of a-hole fathers and husbands out there. I was one before recovery. It was more than just the addictions I needed to recover from.

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        1. Good for you for doing what’s right for your family and getting help. I know it’s not easy for a man to seek help and do the hard word that’s involved with treatment. God bless you 😀✝️👍🏻🦋

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  2. I believe woman have different qualities then men. We are supposed to work together. Women have different difficulties springing from the difference. The possibility to give birth and nurture our children is something special. But strangely it “feels” like a disadvantage because of the economical repercussions. I am with you on the paid maternity leave. If they don’t ‘want’ to pay much, it’s fine (it’s not but for the sake of the argument). The reality is that women are forced to go back to work way too early. Workspaces and public spaces are not breastfeed friendly, not even child friendly sometimes. Women who care for their kids are not in the easiest place, are not being taken care of (fine) but then ‘they’ need another ‘generation’ to work, to make progress, to be able to pay taxes and so on but at no cost or investment! That is what really blows my mind. We are sometimes looked at as ‘the weaker’ ‘the lazy when ill’ or ‘bad mom when not perfect’. That is easy to say when you leave out all the other things women do and have to put with like you described. There are different sets to measure ‘succes’. Great post!

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    1. Thank you. Before I had my son, I tried and tried to think of a way I could care for him and still have an income. I had my own small business at the time but it wasn’t conducive to having a baby around. I went back to work when he was 2 months old. I had strong separation anxiety and feelings of guilt when I was at work. Sometimes I’d cry after dropping him off in the morning. After work, I insisted on being the one to care for him mainly to cover the guilt I’d felt all day when we were separated. I fed, bathed, played with, put down to sleep. In the middle of the night when he cried, I soothed him. I’d tell my husband “you’ve had a long day. Let me handle this”. I didn’t want to waste one second of time with my son. Very early on, I felt burnout. But I ignored that. My best friend was the only person who showed concern for my behavior. She wanted me to give the baby to my husband one night so I could join her for happy hour. Ha! Back in those days I never once socialized or spent “me time” relaxing. If I needed to get my hair done, baby came with me. Looking back, I see how unhealthy this all was. It wasn’t until my son was 4 and I had my “nervous breakdown” that I learned I had bipolar. Not that what I was doing was a bipolar thing. But my diagnosis prompted me to get treatment and therapy and that’s when I finally began to unravel my layers of guilt, shame and separation anxiety.

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      1. When you become a mom, it doesn’t come with a manual. It is so important to care of yourself and take rest but it can be so complicated. Dealing with mental health at the same time is an extra difficulty. You are very brave for doing all this, coping with it. ❤ I hope your story helps young mothers and mothers to be to open up about the struggles they come across because it can be a great help to find comfort in stories of others.

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        1. Thanks friend! I always appreciate your thoughtful comments. And you’ve just given me an idea for a new post! Advice for working new mothers. I could write a book…on what not to do! 🙏💥✝️❤️

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  3. Canada is a lot more progressive in terms of maternity leave. It lasts for a year; the first few months are specified as maternity leave, and then the remainder of the time is considered parental leave that the parents can split up in whatever way is best for their family.

    I think it’s so short-sighted that most employers don’t offer flexible scheduling for parents, and also for people with health issues and other disabilities. Flexible scheduling keeps people healthier and more satisfied with their work, which in the end is going to benefit the employer.

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    1. Don’t get my started on American health care. It’s deplorable! The whole “employer providing healthcare” concept is crazy. What does my company have to do with my medical care? So many jobs provide no healthcare for employees. I think by law, a company is only required to offer it if they have 50 or more employees. Whatever! Makes no sense to me

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  4. Such an interesting post and so true from my experience (I write as my hubby is watching hour 6 of NFL lol). When my ex-husband would get loud and upset in counseling it was never labeled “hysterical” or “irrational” the way it was for me if I dared to get upset. Also his requests for help were taken so much more seriously than mine…it’s funny but I think that women are so capable – even when we are battling depression or mental issues – that we are just expected to carry on despite it. And often we will sacrifice our own health to meet others expectations. I think we need to get free from those first! Maybe not burn the bras but burn the expectations lol. I feel like our country is torn between the antiquated ideas of womanhood and the new ideals of equality. Thank you for pointing out yet another place where women need to be taken more seriously and given the same level of help and grace as men. We need to encourage and uphold each other until that becomes the norm.

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  5. Hi there!

    I wanted to share some very important news that has been spreading around the internet. This is an important public service announcement concerning our future well being.

    We are approaching a future of a one-world cashless society in which they will mandate us to have an RFID microchip implanted in our body. This chip will contain all our personal information and we will lose much more of our privacy because of the tracking capabilities.

    More importantly, did you know that this was all prophesied almost 2000 years ago by a man named Jesus? Don’t believe me? Keep reading…This may be the most important thing you will ever read.

    “He(the false prophet) causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666” (Revelation 13:16-18).

    Referring to the end times, this could only be speaking of a cashless money society, which we have yet to see, but are moving towards. Otherwise we could still buy or sell without the mark among others if physical money was still currency. This mark could not be spiritual, because the word references two distinct physical locations on the human body. If it was spiritual, it would just say in the forehead.

    This is where it really starts to come together. These are notes from a man named Carl Sanders who worked with a team of engineers to help bring about this RFID microchip.

    Carl Sanders sat in seventeen New World Order meetings with heads-of-state officials such as Henry Kissinger and Bob Gates of the C.I.A. to discuss their agenda on how to bring about this one-world system. The US government commissioned Carl Sanders to design a microchip for identifying and controlling the peoples of the world-a microchip that could be inserted under the skin with a hypodermic needle(a quick, convenient method that would be gradually accepted by society).

    Carl Sanders, along with a team of engineers behind him, with U.S. grant monies provided by US tax dollars, took on this challenge and designed a chip that is powered by a lithium battery, rechargeable by the temperature changes in our skin. Without the knowledge of the Bible(Mr. Sanders was not a follower of Christ at the time), these engineers spent one and a half million dollars doing research on the best and most convenient place to have the microchip inserted.

    These researchers discovered that the forehead and the back of the hand(the two spots Revelation says the mark will go) are not only the most convenient places, but are also the only viable spots for rapid, consistent temperature fluctuations in the skin to recharge the lithium battery. The RFID microchip is around seven millimeters in length, .75 millimeters in diameter, about the size of a grain of rice. It is capable of storing pages of information about you. All your general history, work history, crime record, health history, and financial data can be stored on this chip.

    Carl Sanders believes that this chip, which he regretfully helped engineer, is the “mark” spoken about in Revelation 13:16-18. The original Greek word for “mark” is “charagma,” which means a “scratch or etching.” It is also interesting to note that the number 666 is a word in the original Greek. The word is “chi xi stigma,” with the last part, “stigma,” also meaning “to stick or prick. Carl believes this is referring to the use of a hypodermic needle being poked into the human flesh to insert the microchip.”

    Brother Sanders spoke with a doctor asking what would occur if the lithium contained within the RFID microchip leaked into the body. The doctor answered by saying a terrible sore would appear in that spot. This is what the book of Revelation has to say:

    “And the first(Angel) went, and poured out his vial on the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore on the men which had the mark of the beast, and on them which worshipped his image” (Revelation 16:2).

    The Bible tells us we cannot buy or sell without the mark of the beast, or the number of its name. This number is identified as 666. The Bible tells us to calculate the number 666.

    In this world we are identified by numbers, whether it is our social security number, drivers license, or cards used to make payments. The number of the beast represents something like this, to identify us in a one world government system. This number will be stored inside the microchip to identify us so we may buy or sell.

    To see the hidden meaning behind calculating the number 666(6+6+6=18), and how it matches up with scipture perfectly,

    Go to: https://biblefreedom.com/rfid-mark-revealed

    The Bible warns us in the last days that a false prophet will rise up doing miracles to deceive many to receive this mark. Whatever it takes, do not take it!

    “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name” (Revelation 14:9-11).

    Out of all the world religions, how can we be confident the Bible got it right? The scientific data has established and continues to support that the universe once had a beginning in which space, time and matter were created. Many know this as the big bang.

    “The non-biblical religions tell us that god or god’s create within space and time that eternally exist. The Bible stands alone and says that time and space don’t exist until God creates the universe.” – Hugh Ross

    Did you know that the real Noah’s Ark was discovered where the Bible told us it would be with the correct dimensions? As well as hard evidence for the destruction of Sodom Gomorrah and the Exodus account of the Red Sea crossing?

    The Bible is the most translated and read book in the history of the world, full of predictive prophecies. Wouldn’t you expect God’s word to be so?

    This information can all be found at https://biblefreedom.com

    “And He(Jesus) said to me(Apostle John), “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts” (Revelation 21:6).

    “Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water(the Holy Spirit) that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13-14).

    “Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ (John 3:5-6).

    All religion is man-made. Man can create religion, but no one can create the Holy Spirit that comes from God out of Heaven. Jesus never told us to follow a religion or denomination:

    “Then He(Jesus) said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23).

    You can receive the Spirit of God right now. If you are willing to humble yourself before Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead on the third day; call out to God and ask Him to forgive your sins, to receive His Holy Spirit. If you are genuine, He is faithful and just to forgive, and He will give you a new heart, a renewing of the mind, restoring everything the devil has stolen from you; making you like a child again.

    When we receive the Spirit of God, we become born from above, and His seed resides within us. We no longer make a practice of sin, but rather turn away from unrighteousness and receive the righteousness of Christ.

    From that point onward, we must put all our hope and trust in Jesus, and grow to walk in His ways, not straying from the narrow path. For Jesus says,

    “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).

    “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty(One God), Who was(Jesus) and is(YHWH) and is to come(Jesus)!” (Revelation 4:8).

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    1. They’re already doing this in Sweden. Or Denmark…whatever. I guess the citizens there are pretty naive. And I don’t think they’re Christian in the real sense of the word. There’s no way I’d let somebody stick me with a microchip like I’m a dog. How truly scary that is.

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