All posts filed under: Women

Why Are Rates of Mental Illness Soaring Among Young Women?

Young women today do better at school than boys, they are more likely to go on to university, take more of the top jobs and, at least until they are thirty, earn more than men. Yet women are clearly not celebrating. In Britain, research published last week shone a light on the state of the nation’s mental health. It revealed an alarming increase in the number of women aged 16 – 24 reported to be suffering from a mental health condition. This echoes the findings of similar research conducted in Australia and America. According to the latest statistics, almost 30% of young British women have a problem with their mental health. One in five suffer from anxiety, depression, panic disorder, phobia or obsessive compulsive disorder; this compares to 12 per cent of men the same age. The number of young women screening positive for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder has trebled to 12.6 per cent in just seven years. Almost 20 per cent of women aged 16 – 24 report self-harming. For once, headlines that shout about …

Women are Far More Anxious than Men — Here’s the Science

Anxiety disorders — defined by excessive fear, restlessness, and muscle tension – are debilitating, disabling, and can increase the risk for depression and suicide. They are some of the most common mental health conditions around the world, affecting around four out of every 100 people and costing the health care system and job employers over US$42 billion each year. People with anxiety are more likely to miss days from work and are less productive. Young people with anxiety are also less likely to enter school and complete it — translating into fewer life chances. Even though this evidence points to anxiety disorders as being important mental health issues, insufficient attention is being given to them by researchers, clinicians, and policy makers. Researchers and I at the University of Cambridge wanted to find out who is most affected by anxiety disorders. To do this, we conducted a systematic review of studies that reported on the proportion of people with anxiety in a variety of contexts around the world, and used rigorous methods to retain the highest quality studies. …

The Paradox of Female Happiness

Women are about 75 per cent more likely than men to report having recently suffered from depression. Women are also about 60 per cent more likely to report an anxiety disorder. These sharp discrepancies observed by Oxford professor Daniel Freeman, were found in eight of 12 nations from which statistics were taken. They also support a study which found that women reported higher levels of happiness than men in the 1960s but that this gender gap has now reversed. Why the change? What does this mean when women are healthier, better educated, enjoy more economic freedom and more opportunities than we did 35 years ago? Since the 1960s it has become socially acceptable to leave unhappy marriages. The stigma that once existed around free expression of female sexuality has softened. Legislation is in place to protect women from sexual harassment. By many objective measures, women in the West have never been more liberated. For all of this improvement many women are unhappy. Freeman, a clinical psychologist, noticed a gap in the literature on sex differences in …