Gender Stereotypes and Depression

Gender Stereotypes and DepressionGender is a person’s social status as a sexual identity. Everyone has a unique gender identity which is determined by how he feels about gender and chooses to express it. However, a person’s gender identity can be influenced by how society deems what is masculine or feminine.

Gender stereotypes have been a major social battle. They are generalizations about gender attributes, differences and roles. While they can be positive and negative, they are based on assumptions that contribute to unequal and unfair treatment for members of a particular orientation.

The most common forms of gender stereotypes derive from the following situations:

  • Domestic roles
  • Occupation
  • Physical appearance
  • Personality characteristics

The Connection between Gender Stereotypes and Depression

Gender stereotypes can prompt depression to develop, and they can delay and interfere with recovery from a mental health disorder. Gender stereotypes can make people question their gender identity. For example, women may feel guilty about going to work rather than staying at home with their children; men may feel ashamed and angry if they are not tall or athletic. Society’s gender stereotypes can cause many challenges and pain if people do not meet the social expectations. Some people may try to adhere to these stereotypes, but this may conceal their natural gender qualities. This stress can trigger depression and other mental health issues. Express one’s real identity is vital to health and wellbeing, but gender stereotypes can interfere with the ability to do so. The LGBT community has long struggled with issues of gender stereotypes or sexual discrimination, and it is extremely common for these individuals to develop depression, suicidal tendencies and other mental health issues.

Another connection between gender stereotypes and depression is that depression is more commonly found in men but diagnosed more often in women. This could be in part to the stigma of gender stereotypes. While women are still attempting to overcome gender barriers and equality, many males are quietly trying to do the same. Gender stereotypes have always portrayed men with hyper-masculine qualities, i.e. aggressive behavior, ambitious, strong, sexually experienced and dominant. To fit in with this, many males do not want to be seen as weak or of poor health.

Depression is an illness that is highly misunderstood. Many people think it as a behavior flaw characterized by mood swings. Many males fear or deny mental or emotional health problems like depression, which prevents them from seeking treatment for a serious mental health illness.

Help for Depression and Gender Identity Issues

If you or a loved one struggle with depression and are ready to find help, please call our toll-free helpline now. Depression is a serious mental health illness with many underlying issues, and we are here to help you find the treatment and recovery services that are right for you. Our recovery professionals are available 24 hours a day to speak with you about treatment options. Whether you have questions, need information or are ready to find treatment today, we can help.