Mental Disorders

The fact that more women than men are treated in mental health clinics and psychiatric hospitals would lead one to believe that the rate of mental illness is higher among women than among men. This appears to be the case with respect to some, but certainly not all, mental disorders. Women tend to be more vulnerable to anxiety disorders, depression, and eating disorders, and they probably have a higher rate of attempted suicide than men. On the other hand, boys are more likely than girls to stutter, to be hyperactive, and to develop other conduct or behavioral disorders (Myers, 1995). As adults, they are more likely to become alcoholics and/or substance abusers and to develop antisocial personalities (Unger, 1979). Men also commit more crimes than women, and crimes of violence in particular (U.S. Department of Justice, 1996). Finally, substantially more men than women, and especially older white men, succeed in committing suicide (Singh et al., 1996).

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