Addiction, whether drug, alcohol, technology, sex, et cetera, is a personalized disorder. Meaning, why and to what a person becomes addicted, varies with each person. Socio-economic standing, gender, genetic makeup, and personal habits can all have a hand in whether a person develops an addiction, and to what level of severity.
The Journal of Abnormal Psychology recently conducted a study involving over 43,000 adults pertaining to addiction amongst men and women. The purpose of the study was to determine which gender is more susceptible to falling victim to addiction. Are men more prone to addiction or are women? How does this affect how we view treatment?
What the JoAP study suggested at its completion is that men tend to externalize negative feelings and emotions more than women, and they usually do so by abusing drugs or alcohol. Women on the other hand, were more prone to become depressed or develop anxiety issues but not as likely to turn to substances for management of their problems.
Another study was performed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). With findings similar to the JoAP study, one additional piece of information uncovered was that women are more likely to seek help, not for a specific addiction, but for mental health in general.
Men inherently like to ‘fix things’, so when problems arise, they set out to set things straight. In terms of addiction, men may be subconsciously fixing their negative feelings or other problems in their lives by hiding in a bottle of booze or numbing themselves out with drugs.
Woman are introspective. They will not be the first to admit there is a problem until they have considered all angles of the situation. They’ll keep their negativity and issues inside, festering, attempting to deal with them on their own rather than bother somebody around them. This can eventually lead to drugs or alcohol being used—and more often than not, in sneaky or harmful ways. Or, once a woman is ready, she’ll step forward to seek sobriety.
“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” ~Benjamin Franklin
When faced with hardships or mental illness, men and women will experience similar emotions, but there is no guarantee how they will act on them. Woman are the more likely of the species to seek outward help, from peers and medical professionals, while men are going to continue refusing asking for directions. No matter the destination.
The Last Resort has professionals to help work with resistant men who need help yet won’t ask for help without encouragement from a loved one.