Does Mental Health Look Different for Men and Women?
September is Liptember, a push to wear bright-colored lipstick in order to spread awareness and raise funds for women’s mental health. Mental health impacts all of us, regardless of gender. However, like so many other things, mental health can look different for men than it does for women. So, what are these differences? What causes them? And does that mean that treatment should be different, too? In today’s article, we will be covering all of these topics for you.
The Differences in Mental Health for Men and Women
Men and women have different needs, strengths, and weaknesses in all areas of life, including mental health. This is because hormones, genetics, and society can cause significant differences in mental health, which is something that varies greatly between men and women.
During their menstrual cycle, women can experience mood swings that are linked to hormonal changes. Pregnant and newly postpartum mothers find themselves at risk of a slew of mental health conditions thanks to extreme hormone fluctuations and social expectations. Infertility and reproductive health concerns can also play a role in a woman’s mental health.
Men may see themselves experiencing mental health concerns like fatigue, depression, and anxiety when they are experiencing imbalances in hormones like testosterone. Testosterone imbalances can especially occur as a man ages, which has a significant impact on the man’s mental health, leading to worsened cognitive performance and a greater prevalence of depressive symptoms.
Men have also appeared to experience hormonal changes as they enter fatherhood. The hormonal changes found in some studies included increased estrogen, cortisol, vasopressin, and prolactin, which could allow men to be more engaged in fatherhood and build a stronger father-child bond. While these hormonal changes can be great for building a greater bond between the infant and child, they can also put the father at a greater risk of postpartum depression or anxiety.
A few statistical differences in mental health between men and women include:
- Adolescent girls have a significantly higher prevalence of eating disorders and depression cases than adolescent boys.
- Women are significantly more likely to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety in adulthood than men.
- Adult men are significantly more likely than adult women to be diagnosed with substance use disorders and antisocial behaviors.
Should Men and Women’s Mental Health Treatment Be Different, Too?
Finding a therapist who can express empathy, support, and validation based on your gender and gender identity can be crucial to receiving high-quality counseling. Men and women experience the world completely differently, whether this be due to hormonal and physical reasons, societal expectations and norms, or genetic features. That is why a gender-based approach to therapy can be critical to ensuring the client is receiving the therapy they need.
We Are Here for You
Mental health plays a significant role in your quality of life, whether you are a man or woman. If you have found that your mental health has been struggling, we are here for you. Contact us today, and we will work with you to begin your journey toward a happier, healthier life.
Keywords: women’s mental health, mental health awareness, Liptember, counseling