In England, statistics show that females are more likely to be diagnosed with mental health conditions than males. Why is this the case? Are women more prone to becoming mentally ill, or can it be said to be a problem in the way mental health disorders are diagnosed?

When it comes to diagnosing depression, professionals are more likely to diagnose women - Even if they have similar scores and symptoms. And although this is the case, statistics show that men are more likely to commit suicide. In 2013, out of 6233 suicides, only 22% were female, while the remaining 78% were male. Someone’s gender should not affect the diagnosis of mental health disorders. Gender bias prevents people from getting the appropriate treatment, and therefore prevents them from getting better.

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) shows a huge difference in male to female diagnosis ratio. For every six males that get diagnosed with ADHD, one female does. This could be as a result of how we, not as individuals, but society as a whole, have been fed gender stereotypes: ’boys are more active than girls’; 'girls should be more independent and quiet' and so on. This, however, should not be the case. ADHD affects someone's attention spam, and if this isn't addressed, it could cause a long term disadvantage to the individual with the disorder.

Professionals should take an objective approach when diagnosing mental health disorders. Although subjectivity when dealing with diagnosis of mental health conditions can sometimes be done unintentionally, some of the consequences that come with it can heavily impact lives – resulting in young people not always getting the right help and support that they need.


Useful links

  • Men and depression leaflet Click here to take a look
  • Children’s Society report on subjective wellbeing Click here to take a look
  • Ask Normen Website (ADHD) Click here to take a look




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