For most of its history, medicine has been male oriented. Doctors, research subjects, and patients were nearly all men, and medication dosages were considered to be "one size fits all.
That orientation has changed dramatically. The medical profession now recognizes that women's physiology is different and realizes that women's health is one of its leading issues.
Our relatively recent efforts to understand sex differences in the onset, presentation, course, and treatment of mental illnesses are yielding sometimes striking results. Why is schizophrenia so much more common in men, and why does it have an earlier onset and a more malignant course? Do estrogens protect against schizophrenia? Why do women have higher rates of mood disorders and increasing rates of substance abuse?
Representing the work of 60 distinguished contributors, this comprehensive summary answers these and many other questions concerning the psychological and pharmacological treatment of psychiatric illnesses in women, including useful information about recent developments in psychopharmacology (e.g., adjusting medication dosages), physiology (e.g., how liver enzymes affect the metabolism of drugs), course and manifestation (e.g., for obsessive-compulsive disorder, the course is longer and morbidity greater in men than in women), and the interaction between social and biological factors (e.g., the effect of societal expectations on women as primary caregivers for both children and aging parents).
Clinicians and laypersons alike will welcome this clearly written, definitive guide on the most recent developments in our understanding of the major differences in the brain anatomy, physiology, and epidemiology of psychiatric illnesses between women and men.show more