Women are twice as likely to have anxiety as men, probably because of the patriarchy
Over 40 million adults in the United States have anxiety, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. But why is it that women are twice as likely to be anxious as men? It turns out that it’s because women also have twice as many things to worry about than men do, according to recent research. We’re not all that surprised, TBH. . . because, the patriarchy, folks.
A review published in the journal Brain and Behavior this week analyzed 48 studies and concluded that an estimated 4 percent of people in the world have anxiety in some form. People under 35 were more likely to have anxiety than older age brackets, but the most at-risk demographic for anxiety was women; income levels didn’t seem to matter. Additionally, women who are pregnant or new moms had higher rates of OCD than the rest of the population.
“There has been a lot of focus on depression — which is important — but anxiety is equally important and debilitating; it can lead to the development of other diseases and psychiatric disorders, increase the risk for suicide and is associated with high costs to society,” review author Olivia Remes from the University of Cambridge told BBC. “It is important for our health services to understand how common they are and which groups of people are at greatest risk.”
As The Cut noted, it’s important to highlight that men are less likely to report or seek treatment for mental health issues, but there are also other factors that may explain the disparity — including chemical differences and gender roles. Remes told the BBC that the differences could be a root of women’s “traditional role of caring for the young.” She also noted that it could be due to hormonal shifts that happen during and after pregnancy and menopause.