Science Proves Women Suffer Way More Depression Than Men

Photo: Getty Images 
Women Are Much More Likely to Suffer Depression Than Men

Mental health is a serious issue for women. Want proof? According to a four-year study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, women are almost 50 PERCENT more likely to experience depression than men. And more than TWICE as many women as men have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders.

The study doesn’t get into the reasons WHY women are more prone to anxiety and depression than men – we can make some educated guesses – but it does clearly show greater occurrences of depression, measured mood disorders, panic disorders, and anxiety disorders amongst its female subjects. (Which sucks.)

Now, while those statistics might make you feel even more depressed, the important take-away from the study is that women need to be treating their mental health as seriously as ANY other health issue in their lives.

This is one of the main goals of National Women’s Health Week, a women’s wellness initiative that runs from May 8 to May 14 this year. For the past seventeen years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women's Health (OWH) has used Women’s Health Week to encourage women to make their health a priority and suggest resources that they can use to live healthier, happier lives.

It’s a noble mission, but how does it help all the women out there who are feeling 50 percent more depressed than their male counterparts? (Hmm ... so they get 25 percent less pay, but 50 percent more anxiety? That seems fair.)

One of the big things that National Women’s Health Week wants women to do is to feel comfortable TALKING about depression and mental health. Women should talk to their friends and family for support and assistance when they’re feeling stressed or anxious.

When women schedule their annual wellness appointments with their doctors, they NEED to discuss how they’re feeling, mentally.

Women should definitely discuss depression risk factors with their primary care physicians — things like family history, family planning, substance issues — because they can play a major role in your overall mental health.

Yes, it might feel like an awkward conversation to have with some random doctor you only see once a year, but just starting a dialogue about how you’re feeling with a trained professional can make a world of difference. It can let you know that you’re not alone. It can let you know what help is out there. So, at the very least, it’s a conversation you should consider having.

If you want more information about depression risk factors for women and how they can find help, check out this infographic from National Women’s Health Week. The data might be depressing, but it also offers some practical solutions as well.

We all need a little help sometimes. For National Woman’s Health Week this year, pledge to talk to your doctor about stress, depression, and any other mental health concerns you may have.