Is Depression Affected by Gender? Essay Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1182 Words
Date:  2022-09-26

Depression is a chronic disease that brings about severe mental disorders among people of all walks in the world. It is associated with several other diseases, and in the year 2010, depression was found to be the second topmost cause of years lived with disability. Depression is also considered as among the top most reasons for suicidal deaths and stroke attacks. Depression is rates are increasing all over the world, with projections of becoming the topmost component of disease burden in most countries by 2030. The problem is faced by people at all levels of economic income, though experienced more by the poor than the rich. Depression is also associated with negative behavior risks, social problems, and poor health habits. In recent years, depression has been linked to the gender difference in various perspectives as described in this literature review. Generally, it has been discovered that depression is more prevalent among women compared to men.

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Many research reports and articles have linked the disparity in the depression between men and women to biological factors. Biological factors that explain depression difference are majorly based on the hormonal difference between men and women. Men and women experience different cases of hormonal changes, with women having more changes than men (Li, Lu, Wang & Zhong, 2015). Depression has been related to affect almost all women at one time during pregnancy, a period to menstruation, at perimenopause, and at puberty age, thus relating it to hormonal imbalance in the woman's body during this period (Hammen, 2018). The depletion of a hormone, estrogen, also called menopause system, is associated with increased depression among women. Women during menopause are also associated with higher levels of depression, which is attributed to the woman feeling less womanly as they become infertile. This is not hormonal related, but rather a mentality most women have at that stage, where they also feel less attractive.

Stereotypical roles subjected to women in the society overburden them, leaving them stresses every day. Women are subjected to more roles in society than men, which has a negative impact on their health. There are women who work on an everyday basis, but unlike men, they are still responsible for family duties like cleaning and cooking. Such women are always anxious to see things go right at their workplace and at home (Goodwin & Gotlib, 2004). At the workplace, women are subjected to more task, yet receive fewer promotions compared to men, due to gender inequality caused by stereotypical minds. Women are also paid less compared to men. For a woman to be successful, they have to work extra hard compared to men, yet they have other family responsibilities.

During the adolescent stage, depressive symptoms may occur and remain with the individual into adulthood. Girls show depression symptoms at an early stage and more than boys during adolescence. The symptoms are associated with life stress, pubertal transition challenge, and vulnerability. Girls experience more changes in the body than boys, and at times they are not sure how to deal with the changes. At the puberty age, girls start to have more estrogen hormone, which is associated with higher levels of depression (Monteiro, Mantos & Oliveira, 2015). The timing of puberty is also received differently by the two genders. Girls are more worried of early or late puberty compared to boys (Mule, 2004). Older boys start to notice the girls at puberty, adding more pressure to girls, who may not handle the social pressure well. Boys, on the other hand, get social pressure at an older age than girls.

Comorbidity, the existence of pre-existing or associated conditions between men and women are different. Depression diagnosis is at most times associated with other psychiatric conditions such as anxiety. More women are known to have eating disorders and anxiety compared to men. Eating disorder's symptoms include obesity, which is also more prevalent in women than men. Obesity at teenage age, when the girl starts to be aware of their body may result in the girl feeling unattractive. At this age, the girls are ready and preparing for relationships with the opposite sex (Kelly & Brown, 1999). Starting at this age, girls want to be desired by the opposite sex and may go to great lengths for this to happen. The fear of rejection starts to build up, where obese girls start to show depression symptoms.

Environmental factors causing depression affect women more than men. Men react more aggressively than women on certain stresses and then forget almost immediately. On the other hand, women build up emotions, which end up erupting into depression (Goodwin & Gotlib, 2004). Women are also more vulnerable in life as they are not masculine. They, therefore, face more threats than men. Rape cases affect more women than men, which lives a woman with a lifetime wound that would often lead to depression. In marital conflicts, women are affected more than men. It is women who are abused more in relationships, leading to a depressive life of regrets (Monteiro, Mantos & Oliveira, 2015). Women are also known not to share cases of marital abuse. Unlike men who can share their problems while drunk, women solve their problems emotionally, which is linked to depression.

The difference between women and men cognition have also been associated with the gender difference in depression. Women have a more detailed picture of emotional feeling and process emotions more deeply compared to men. According to a research done on 856 (491 girls and 365 boys) teenagers of 14 to 17 years, females need more approval than men, and when they don't get it, anxiety builds up immediately. They also have a problem with choosing the best solution to problems, which is stressing. On the other hand, men portray a careless, and aggressive means of solving their problems, which helps them avoid depression. Men also have a different response to changes and conditions. Compared to women, men adapt easily while women take time and perceive everything as an emotional experience. The more negative emotional experiences, the more one is prone to depression.


Depression has been linked to gender, where women are said to be more prevalent among women than men. The relationship between gender and depression is however too general. Most research reports are either based on teenagers or only 4 to five adults. There are no many precise researches that one can base all these factors on.


Goodwin, R. D., & Gotlib, I. H. (2004). Gender differences in depression: the role of personality factors. Psychiatry research, 126(2), 135-142.

Hammen, C. (2018). Risk Factors for Depression: An Autobiographical Review. Annual review of clinical psychology, 14, 1-28.

Kelly, W. E., Kelly, K. E., Brown, F. C., & Kelly, H. B. (1999). Gender differences in depression among college students: A multi-cultural perspective. College Student Journal.

Li, M., Lu, S., Wang, G., & Zhong, N. (2015). The effects of gender differences in patients with depression on their emotional working memory and emotional experience. Behavioural neurology, 2015.

Monteiro, S., Matos, A. P., & Oliveira, S. (2015). The moderating effect of gender: Traumatic experiences and depression in adolescence. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 165, 251-259.

Mule, C. M. (2004). Why Women Are More Susceptible to Depression: An Explanation for Gender Differences. Rochester Institute of Technology.

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