This story is unavailable.

Women are nearly twice as likely to experience anxiety than men, and girls are more likely to develop anxiety disorders than boys as they enter adolescence by a factor of six to one.

That’s not what the statistics show, all they say is that women are twice as likely to report their anxiety or seek treatment for it. This doesn’t necessarily mean men don’t suffer from anxiety at the same rate as women, just that they’re not diagnosed with it. How many teenage boys do you know who would admit to being disproportionately afraid all the time, even if they were? How many men?

The Slate article linked in support of the incidence of anxiety in teenage girls highlights the cause and effect but willfully ignores the implications, as has the author here. The disparity in anxiety doesn’t arise until people are in the pre to mid-teens, at which point adults have repeatedly told boys to “suck it up” and, surprise, surprise, they stop reporting feelings of fear and anxiety.

Instead of seeing the obvious repression of emotional expression for what it is, the author suggests this repressive gendering actually makes boys more robust! Funnily enough, she goes on to state that women are twice as likely to seek a diagnosis from a psychologist as men in adulthood, which she admits is the obvious explanation as to why they’re diagnosed at twice the rate, but that’s fact seems to have been ignored in both instances. Why?

The suicide rate for men is higher by a factor of anywhere between 6:1 and 3:1 and the men who commit suicide are far less likely to have had medical treatment or a diagnosis at the time of their death than the women who do so. The more macho the society, the greater this disparity seems to be. This is strongly suggestive of the fact that the rate of diagnosis is not reflective of an actual disparity in the incidence of mental health difficulties between the sexes, rather it suggests an under diagnoses in men, probably due to social pressure for males to resist outward emotional expression, a pressure which is killing men in their thousands.

So yeah, anxiety, learn to love it unless you’re a man, in which case be sure to suppress it with willpower, intoxicants and machismo until your over stressed limbic system drives you to violence against yourself, or others, or both because, you know, suck it up.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Damien Quinn’s story.