Effects of Gender on Depression

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Date Added: 04 / 02 / 2009
Category: English Literature
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Effects of Gender on Depression

View Full Essay Effects of Gender on Depression
Depression is the most common mental health problem affecting at least one sixth of the world’s population (Doris, Ebmeier, & Shajah, 1999) and is the principle cause of disability in women worldwide (Mazure, Keita, & Blehar, 2002). According to a World Health Organization report (Mazure et al., 2002, p. 12) depression is the “greatest disease burden” for women than any other disease. Depression is defined by Merriam-Webster (2008) as “a psychoneurotic or psychotic disorder marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal tendencies”. Less than 50% of people with major depression disorder are correctly diagnosed by a primary care physician (Depression Guidelines Panel, 1993).
Decades of epidemiologic studies on depression have found that women have a higher prevalence and incidence rate than that of men (Frerichs, Aneshensel, & Clark, 1981; Gallo, Royall, & Anthony, 1993; Nolen-Hoeksema, 1990; Weissman & Klerman, 1992; World Health Organization, 2002). One of the most consistent findings in psychiatric research is that rates of depression are two times higher in women than in men (Piccinelli & Wilkinson, 2000; Sonnenberg, Beekman, Deeg, & Van Tilburg, 2000; Weissman & Klerman, 1977; Wickramaratne, Weissman, Leaf, & Hloford, 1989; Weissman et al., 1996). Kessler, McGonale, Swartz, Blazer, and Nelson (1993) found life time prevalence for major depressive disorder was 21.3% for women, compared with 12.7% for men. Women use more mental health services than men (Katz et al., 1997; Rhodes, Goering, To, & Williams, 2002) and more frequently use antidepressant medication (Dealberto, Seeman, McAvay, & Berkman, 1997; Linjakumpu et al., 2002; Skoog, Nilsson, Landahl, & Steen, 1993). Although depression is reported to be twice as common among women compared with men, the...