Updated 25 September 2015

Depression in women

Twice as many women as men experience depression.

It has been observed in most parts of the world that twice as many women as men experience depression.

This seems not to be due to diagnostic biases and may be due to hormonal differences, the effects of childbirth, trying to juggle motherhood with being a wife and often holding down a job as well. Women are also subject to different psychosocial pressures and stressors to men and tend to be influenced by behavioural models of learned helplessness. Women tend also to consult doctors more frequently, often with their sick children. It may thus be easier to then come to the attention of the medical profession. Women are also generally better at asking for help.


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Michael Simpson has been a senior psychiatric academic, researcher, and Professor in several countries, having worked at London University in the UK; McMaster University in Canada; Temple University in Philadelphia, USA.; and the University of Natal in South Africa.

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