Therapy: The Good, The Bad and The Really, Really Bad

First, let’s define psychotherapy (aka therapy). Then I will share some therapy horror stories. Therapy involves evaluating your thoughts and behaviors, identifying stresses that contribute to your condition, and working to modify both.

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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.
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