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As depression being one of the leading and most common mental illnesses that affects more than sixteen million American adults each year, it’s slowly but surely becoming an issue in today’s society as more youth start to become depressed for various reasons but who does it really affect? According to Anxiety and Depression Association of America, disorders such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, OCD, PTSD, PDD, specific phobias and much more affect roughly 18.1% of the population every year. However, most of these disorders affect women twice as likely as men and there can be explanations for this biologically, psychologically and socioculturally. To begin with biologically, women can perhaps have a stronger genetic predisposition to developing depression compared to men. This can be because of women being much more subjected to fluctuating and constant changing hormone levels especially around the duration of childbirth and at menopause or even puberty. These cases increases the risk of developing depression. Also, around 50% of the cause of depression is genetic therefore if a member of your family experienced MDD, you are likely to be passed on the disorder. While women tend to be more attentive than men in which they think about things more, although this can be a very good thing, it can also predispose them into developing forms of depression. In contrast when men are affected with depression, they are more likely to react with forbearance, anger, or substance misuse. On the other hand, women are generally more invested in relationships than men so problems within a relationship of some sort are most likely to affect them more also making them more prone to depression. Kenneth S. Kendler, M.D., a director of the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics at Virginia Commonwealth University said “Women seem to have the capacity to be precipitated into depressive episodes at lower levels of stress” in response to adversity. Although each gender and individual react differently to adversity, there are some hardships that cause stress women experience that men don’t. A common role strain example that can cause mental pressure is carrying the load of housework and childcare while working at a paying job. In addition, sociocultural explanations can add to psychological factors. As stated previously, women undergo stress more than men; maintaining the household when the father is working, nurturing the children, caring for older relatives and being able to put up with the frequent sexism. While women living longer than men, extreme old age is usually associated with bereavement, loneliness, poor physical health and depression as well.Referring back to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America factual findings regarding disorders that correlate to depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) affects 6.8 million adults (3.1%), women being twice as likely to be affected than men yet only 43.2% are receiving treatment. Luckily, anxiety disorders are highly treatable yet only around 37% of those suffering receive treatment but are three to five times more likely to reach out to a doctor. In addition, Panic Disorder (PD) affects six million adults (2.7%) and women are also twice as likely to be affected. Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) affects fifteen million adults (6.8%) and is equally common amongst men and women however, symptoms start to form at around the age of thirteen. According to a ADAA survey in 2007, around 36% of people experienced symptoms for ten or more years before seeking any help revolving social anxiety. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder widely known as OCD affects 2.2 million adults (1.0%) and is again equally common amongst men and women. With 25% cases of OCD occurring at the age of fourteen, the average onset age of is nineteen. On the other hand, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) regarding rape is one of the most triggering cases not only women experience but men as well. Actually 65% of men and 45.9% of women who are raped will most likely develop this disorder which goes hand in hand with severe cases of depression. Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD) formerly called dysthymia is a form of depression that is less severe that continues for at least two years. It affects 3.3 million adults (1.5%) age eighteen and older in a given year. With these statistics concerning adults’ mental health, depression does coincide with these disorders and roughly affects forty million of the US population with anxiety being a common disorder that links with depression.

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