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More on the Impact of Depression

  • Poorly managed depression can increase social withdrawal, family conflict, poor interpersonal relationships, substance abuse, stress, anxiety, loss of productivity and personal control, loss of ability to care for family, risk of physical illness (i.e. cardiovascular disease), risk of death/suicide[1].

  • Depression may be as debilitating as any chronic illness, and can reduce a person’s ability to function physically and socially. It may impair the ability to care for family members.

  • Depression can lead to suicide. Suicidal ideation is more common in women, but suicide completion is more common in men.

  • In Canada  women are hospitalized in general hospitals for attempted suicide at 1.5 times the rate of men[3] but men die by suicide at 4 times the rate of women[4]. Why is this ?

  • In Canada, Aboriginal suicide rates are 3-6 times the national average[2].

  • Early onset major depressive disorder may reduce the educational attainment and earning potential of women compared to men[5].

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1. Hughes J, and McCormack C (2000). The stories of women living with depression: Their stories and coping strategies. Maritime centre of excellence for women's health, Dalhousie University.

2. A Report on Mental Illnesses in Canada. Public Health Agency of Canada. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/miic-mmac/chap_7_e.html accessed October 21, 2005

3. A Report on Mental Illnesses in Canada. Public Health Agency of Canada. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/miic-mmac/chap_7_e.html accessed October 21, 2005

4. A Report on Mental Illnesses in Canada. Public Health Agency of Canada. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/miic-mmac/chap_7_e.html accessed October 21, 2005 http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/miic-mmac/images/fig_7-1_e.gif accessed October 21, 2005

5. Berndt ER, Koran LM, Finkelstein SN, Gelenberg AJ, Kornstein SG, Miller IM, Thase ME, Trapp GA, Keller MB. Lost human capital from early-onset chronic depression. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2000; Jun;157:940-7. http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/157/6/940 accessed March 6, 2006

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