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Sit said that in many instances, for women she has worked with, it becomes clear that their first major experience of mental illness began much earlier than the time at which they sought treatment. Women may be affected differently due to factors such as pregnancy and menopause and hormonal changes, LaPilusa said.

Sit said monitoring women in the periods directly after giving birth is critical to prevent major depressive episodes postpartum. The period directly after birth is high risk for a depressive episode that could result in hospitalization.

Part of the puzzle

And the same vigilance is required for menopausal transition periods. There may be genetic vulnerabilities linked to hormonal transitions as well that increase the risk of depression across a lifespan, Sit said. But the research evidence on a correlation between hormonal changes and depression has never been strong, Kessler said. Real biological depression after pregnancy is like 1 in or 1, The vast majority of people with postpartum don't help explain why women have more depression. Studies show that when the position of women and men change, when women get the right to vote, for example, measures of income and sex equality, the gender difference in depression goes down.

Bipolar is not recognized quickly enough in women," she said. The medical community, as well as mental illness sufferers and their support networks need to consider whether a diagnosis of major depressive disorder unipolar disorder is correct versus bipolar disorder, because use of antidepressant drugs for bipolar disorder will not work and could make the situation worse, Sit said. Kessler said misdiagnosis is definitely a piece of the puzzle, but it is hard to know how much it contributes to suicides. But he did say that misdiagnosing bipolar disorder for unipolar depression is dangerous, because even though bipolar is much less common, people who suffer from bipolar have higher suicide rates.

Sit that that ultimately mental illness is not a medical issues founded on gender. Research shows very little gender difference when it comes to treatment options and the key is getting people into treatment and getting patients to stick with treatment after initial failures.


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There are certain treatments that work better for women, he said, pointed to interpersonal therapy. Meanwhile, men respond better to cognitive behavioral therapy. In layman's terms, that's the difference between talking things out and following a set of rules to modify behavior, while often also taking pills. And even though it sounds like a stereotype, Kessler said research backs it up.

MSo : Volume 7 Issue 3

Women want to talk about it. And that works better.


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  4. It's a noticeable difference, but not dramatic. Other variables such as socioeconomics, individual personality and genetics are much more predictive of mental illness than sex, he said. Rather than saying we need to do something for women, we need to do something for people," Kessler said. We still have massive undertreatment. Half the people depressed in America in a year never get treatment and of those who get treatment, a high proportion drop out.

    Kessler said in most cases if a patient tries a variety of drugs, even after a first option fails, 80 percent to 85 percent of patients can recover from a mental illness. Less common problems: eating disorders, anti-social personality disorder, and autism 7. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book!

    Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Overview Every day millions of people struggle with psychological and emotional problems. Conclusion: putting the pieces together References.

    The Stressed Sex: Uncovering the Truth About Men, Women, and Mental Health

    Average Review. How are such conditions best defined and diagnosed? What causes psychological disorders? How do we balance the various contributing factors? This is a highly charged issue. To say that women are less mentally healthy than men can threaten women's struggle for equality in society.

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    But if women are more vulnerable to psychological problems, it is a major public health finding--one that should inform treatment, guide research, and perhaps spark social change. The Freemans show us that it is an issue we cannot ignore. Sign up for free! Join our Signed First Edition Club or give a gift subscription for a signed book of great literary merit, delivered to you monthly.

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