Who is more likely to develop a mental illness: men or women? For the Victorians there was no doubt. After a visit to London’s St Luke’s Hospital for the Insane in 1851, Charles Dickens wrote:
The experience of this asylum did not differ, I found, from that of similar establishments, in proving that insanity is more prevalent among women than among men. Of the eighteen thousand seven hundred and fifty-nine inmates St Luke’s Hospital has received in the century of its existence, eleven thousand one hundred and sixty-two have been women.