Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Men, women and mental-health in the community

Over the past 20 years people have become much more aware of the different ways in which men and women are affected by mental illness, how they respond to stress, the kind of symptoms they have, the course of their illness, how they respond to treatment and how they access and use mental-health services. Women are twice as likely to have a mood disorder and are more likely to suffer depressive episodes; men with schizophrenia are more likely to commit suicide and tend to stay in psychiatric hospitals longer and women are at greater risk for secondary health problems like sexually transmitted diseases. However, there is a limited amount of information about how mentally-ill men and women fare in the community. Researchers from the University of Western Ontario in Canada studied 887 service users over five years. They found that more women than men were housed and in a relationship. Men tended to have less social support and were more likely to be taking drugs.

Forchuk, Cheryl ... [et al] - Exploring differences between community-based women and men with a history of mental illness Issues in Mental Health Nursing 30(8), 495-502

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