Report # 4. Differences between the Genders





Report # 4. Differences between the Genders

            Mental illness encompasses somatic complaints, anxiety, and depression although these traits differ in both men and women. It is a common feature that women suffer from low self-esteem as well as have a sense of minimal control over their lives than men. Such attitudes are great contributors to the likelihood of neurosis in the former than the latter. It is also observable that men undergo a lot of pressure not to openly show their emotions since they are supposed to be tough. This gender role difference facilitates their combative attitude upon becoming mentally ill because they would like to project the same level of confidence as well as power regardless of their physiological situation (Sheper 88). In fact, this aids in their acquisition of violence, antisocial disorders, and substance abuse when they become mentally ill. As such, female patients tend to exhibit phobias and anxiety due to their internalized problem solving approach towards self.

            Women who experience anxiety disorders tend to suppress their emotions due to the cultural stereotypes of being the weaker sex and having inferiority complexes. Such a habit leads to feelings of loneliness hence resulting in withdrawal symptoms and this habit is more prevalent in women than men. In Fact, the latter will be more expressive, hence displaying impulsiveness as well as non-compliant behavior due to their assertive persona. The frustrations associated with differing mental illnesses are thus traceable to the varying brain development patterns of both genders. For instance, males are more prone to having depressing reactions to negative circumstances than females due to their biological “wiring”. Their tendency to show vulnerability especially when there is a lack of social support contrasts with the female’s inclination to worry (Sheper 27). The latter receive molding to absorb such outcomes hence their subtle nature despite suffering from various mental disorders. Nevertheless, they are more prone to panic disorders due to their lack of self-control of their immediate environments.

            Schizophrenia is a severe form of mental illness that seems to affect men earlier than women although the latter become more paranoid. Whereas the latter suffer more hallucinations than the male gender, electroconvulsive therapy appears to suit their recovery rather than men. It is therefore evident that the feeling of loss of control contributes to this phenomenon among women while the variances in the period of contracting these ailments signify the vulnerability of men to prove their macho image. Such myths facilitate an earlier diagnosis of mental illness because the men dither in their outward expressions while hiding their pain and suffering in the hope of averting receiving sympathy. It is a disastrous feature hinged on the egoistical characteristics of men hence the speedy recovery of female patients upon diagnosis due to the latter’s fondness to exposing their weaknesses. A study of other mental health disorders such as OCD, PTSD, sexual dysfunction, and multiple personality disorders reveals that the desire to show one’s masculinity is a huge factor to their occurrence. The lie propagated that women are always victims and the men the aggressors fuels such narratives and results in the above mental illnesses whereby varying genders show different symptoms and recovery mannerisms.

            The weakening mental attitude of women due to their perceived affiliation to submission to men is a contributor to their pessimistic outlook of their illnesses. Most female mental health patients show signs of despair early on although male patients tend to be uneasy over long periods due to their fear of mortality. Deterioration of their conditions results from the realization that they lack invincibility, as they propagate in many aspects of life hence their hopelessness. In contrast, female patients are cognizant of their vulnerability and due to long periods of isolation as well as discrimination in societal forums, they are better at dealing with the resulting symptoms. It is thus understandable that their coping mechanism is higher than that of men especially in the absence of a support system consisting of family members and friends. In fact, men tend to relapse faster than women due to this phenomenon hence need constant monitoring. It is thus evident that male patients suffering from severe depression are quicker to adopt suicidal thoughts than women since they prefer death to tolerating the pain and suffering attendant to such illnesses (Sheper 58). Such ideas also inform their choice of aggression as a form of releasing their tension because they would not like to cede the control of their environment. The gender bias present in psychological disorders could be linked to the reproductive processes inherent in women as well as feelings of financial insecurity and the huge workload of having responsibility over their children. In propagating this theory, the symptoms of mental health are associated with this gender role bias although this is a skewed assessment because of the prevalence of men with similar worries. In the absence of such stereotypes, the variations in mental disorders between male and female patients are marginal. It is, therefore, observable that such differences affect the detection and recovery of individuals.

Work Cited

Scheper, Hughes N. Saints, Scholars, and Schizophrenics: Mental Illness in Rural Ireland. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982. Print.

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