Why Women Suffer From Depression More Than Men, According To Research

Here's how depression affects women differently from men.

Last updated on Sep 07, 2023

Woman looking out window in a dark room, shadow of herself Satrio Ramadhan | Canva

Mental health is a serious issue for women. Want proof?

According to a 2008-2012 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.

Research proves women suffer way more depression than men

RELATED: The 3-Step Healing System Helping People Overcome Persistent Depression


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 takeaway from the study is that women need to treat 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 in May every year. For the past twenty 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.


RELATED: How People With Depression Tend To Speak Differently

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.


RELATED: 8 Reasons Women Get Depressed In Their 40s

Women should definitely discuss depression risk factors with their primary care physicians — things like family history, family planning, and 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 or somebody that you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, there is a way to get help. Call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or text "HELLO" to 741741 to be connected with the Crisis Text Line.


RELATED: 7 Surprising Things That Make Your Depression Even Worse

Tom Burns has served as a contributing editor for 8BitDad and The Good Men Project, and his writing has been featured on Babble, Brightly, Mom.me, Time Magazine, and various other sites.