This factor is probably important in the fact that women have the highest incidence of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).(Jewkes R 2002) There is still a gender gap in the earnings tables, both in total lifetime earnings and also in average earning levels.
This implies that women tend to be less financially independent and more socio-economically deprived (on average) that males.
We know that depression and anxiety related patterns of illness, together with those that have a significant element of somatosisation of their symptomatology, are more likely to occur in women than men with a ratio of about 3:1.
Illnesses such as reactive (unipolar) depression is found to occur with double the frequency in women, when compared to men.
It has been suggested that only 40% of people with a significant mood, anxiety or substance misuse problem will actually seek help in the first year of the problem becoming apparent.
(Boswell G & Poland F 2004) In the context of this essay we should note that, in broad terms, the overall rates of psychiatric disorder are approximately equal in both men and women, but the significant differences between the sexes are found in the patterns of how the disorders manifest themselves.
Alcohol abuse and dependence will occur 2.5 times more frequently in men than women.
It is not certain whether these changes are primarily cultural or biological, as they do vary to a degree between different cultures, but the sex difference is generally found.
(Bayer, 1987) The actual incidence of morbidity is hard to assess accurately.
Firstly because doctors tend to under-diagnose positive psychiatric morbidity and secondly because there is a general reluctance to seek medical help with this type of complaint.