Are women really more mentally ill than men? As a psychologist, I’m not so sure

“Women are disproportionately diagnosed with mental problems. But what if the crisis is one not of chemical imbalances, but power imbalances?”

This article by Sanah Ahsan has been published in The Guardian. It begins:

“In the UK, being a woman means you’re three times more likely than a man to have a mental health problem. Rates of self-harm among young women have more than tripled since the 1990s. For those facing interlocking systems of oppression, it gets worse. Black British women are more likely to be diagnosed with a mental health problem than white women. South Asian women are 2.5 times more likely to attempt suicide than white women. Trans women and gender non-conforming folks face a ‘crisis of trans mental health‘. But are women really becoming more ‘mentally ill’, or are we simply having understandable responses to a traumatising and unjust world?

I’ve previously written about the lies of ‘mental health’ – how we are failing people by locating their problems within them as some kind of mental disorder or psychological problem, and thereby depoliticising their distress. And as a psychologist, I’ve seen how mental health services are diagnosing women and girls who have experienced injustice, patriarchal violence and abuse with ‘mental disorders’ …”

You can read more from here.

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