There are common gender differences in the general population in regards to psychiatric and mental health. Depression and anxiety disorders are more likely to be diagnosed in women whereas substance abuse issues are more common in men. 

There may be gender differences in several types of psychiatric diagnoses between women and men. There are many factors involved including the rarity and occurrence of the disorder in women and men, wanting to seek care from a professional or even the ability to correctly diagnose someone, however these differences in gender are ever present in psychiatric diagnoses. 

Women in general are more likely to be diagnosed with a mental health disorder than men, however this could be because women are more likely to report symptoms of these disorders than men are. 

DepressionSeen as being more common in women than in men.
AnxietyWomen are twice as likely to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder than men are.
ADHD Treatments for both men and females work equally as effectively for both genders in terms of ADHD. ADHD can be found in both males and females, however referral bias is present and women aren’t as likely to be referred for ADHD treatments as men are. 
Personality Disorders Antisocial and Narcissistic personality disorders are more likely to be diagnosed in men. 
Mood DisordersHysteria is named after the woman’s uterus, and thus women are typically seen as more emotional or more likely to have a type of mood disorder than men. Women are two to three times more likely to be diagnosed with a mood disorder than men. 
PTSDWomen are more likely to develop PTSD in response to a traumatic event than men are. 
Substance Abuse Men are more likely to be diagnosed with substance abuse related mental health issues than women are.
Cited from here

The problem men face is under-diagnosis while women may face over-diagnosis, and men may also face being undiagnosed if they do not also struggle with substance abuse issues. Women do not have to worry about this nearly as much as men. 

Perhaps some women tend to be more emotional and some men don’t seek out as much help in terms of mental health and may feel more isolated, however the discrepancies between gender in psychiatric diagnosis are prevalent and troubling. 

In terms of oneself, it is extremely important to advocate for yourself and seek professional help if you are struggling. Researching trustworthy and reliable sources extensively can also help if you  have been diagnosed to get a better grasp on what exactly you are dealing with. You know yourself best, and it is important to research your symptoms and speak up for yourself. 

Educating yourself on illnesses your friends and loved ones are struggling with can be extremely beneficial for them, and also for you to understand what they are going through. 

Although we may not be able to create direct change in the psychiatric diagnosis discrepancies between men and women, I believe that an open communication between all genders, families, peers, and doctors would help create beneficial change for both men and women. It is important to seek help when necessary. 

About the Author

My name is Shelby Dumont, I am a second year university student at the University of Alberta. I began my studies last year with my studies focused on psychology. I have also taken some healthcare classes, helping me find my true interest in politics and equality. I am majoring in political science, with a minor in women’s and gender studies. After I graduate, I hope to work in policy and human rights. My pronouns are she/her. Some of my hobbies include listening to and creating music, meditating, and binging Netflix.
I wanted to join WEW because I believe that positivity and empowerment will in turn create positive change. I was interested in the blog writing committee specifically because I also believe in the power of words. Having a platform to shed light on a plethora of social justice issues is a great tool to raise awareness and practise inclusivity. By being able to articulate my thoughts and opinions, I am hoping to provide information for others to be able to form their own opinions as well. I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I’ve always loved to create new worlds through my words and thoughts, and I am grateful for the opportunity for my ideas to be able to impact the real world. My hope is that by reading and learning, the world will become more accepting and accommodating. Being open and honest can influence others to do the same, and share their stories and points of view, which I think is crucial to social justice.