International Journal of Education and Psychological Research
(Print and Online Peer Reviewed Journal)
Dr. Rashmi Shriwastwa , Sujata Rathore
Gender is a critical determinant of mental health and mental illness. The patterns of psychological distress and psychiatric
disorder among women are different from those seen among men. Women have a higher mean level of internalizing disorders
while men show a higher mean level of externalizing disorders. Gender differences occur particularly in the rates of common
mental disorders wherein women predominate. Differences between genders have been reported in the age of onset of symptoms,
clinical features, frequency of psychotic symptoms, course, social adjustment, and long-term outcome of severe mental
disorders. Women who abuse alcohol or drugs are more likely to attribute their drinking to a traumatic event or a stressor and
are more likely to have been sexually or physically abused than other women. Girls from nuclear families and women married at
a very young age are at a higher risk for attempted suicide and self-harm. Social factors and gender specific factors determine
the prevalence and course of mental disorders in female sufferers. Low attendance in hospital settings is partly explained by the
lack of availability of resources for women. Around two-thirds of married women in India were victims of domestic violence.
Concerted efforts at social, political, economic, and legal levels can bring change in the lives of Indian women and contribute to
the improvement of the mental health of these women.