The article starts like this:

A man and a woman walk into a doctor’s office. All things equal—symptoms and tests included—the female patient is twice as likely as her male counterpart to walk out with a diagnosis of depression. She’s also more than twice as likely to be prescribed a drug and, if that medication is a painkiller, she’ll be prescribed it at a higher dose and for a longer duration of time than the male patient, according to the Office on Women’s Health.

Thanks to a panoply of chemicals and hormones, psychiatric drugs also affect women and men differently, regardless of prescription rates. For the most part, drugs just work better in female users— opioids are more pain relieving, antidepressants more potent, and anti-anxiety medications more powerful. They also cause more side effects. And while men still outpace women in addiction rates, female abuse escalates more quicklyharms the body faster, and is a more difficult habit to break.

While it’s true that women experience depression and anxiety at higher rates than men, this still doesn’t explain the intense level of prescription disparity. Even with disorders that skew heavily male, like ADHD, women are more likely to be prescribed medication.

And then the author, Taylor Prewitt, goes on to develop a rich, complex argument that draws on the politics of gender, history, politics, bodies and medicine.

You can read the rest here.


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