Depression: Less Common in Men or Just Not Diagnosed as Frequently?

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor do I claim to be one. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, are injured, or are feeling thoughts of depression, anxiety, or anything else, please contact a medical professional IMMEDIATELY!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

If a male friend, co-worker or companion seems frequently irritable, angry and withdrawn it may not be anger that he is displaying. Since cultural conditioning makes it unacceptable for men to show various forms of sadness, especially crying, many men retreat to the only option typically available to them. Anger quite often is the typical male emotion and one boys are taught from a young age that they may freely display.

While nearly one third of the people who suffer from depression in the United States, the majority of the people who seek help for the condition are women. Men tend to be less likely to admit they need help. It is for many males simply not “macho.” While depression was typically thought to affect men more than women, that notion has been challenged and 2003, the National Institute of Mental Health launched a campaign to inform more men of the dangers of depression.

While it may be that the symptoms were masked by the may be that the men suffering from depression masked the symptoms at first through a veil of anger it is possible that the disease starts out differently in men than it does in women. While clinical depression looks the same in either gender once it reaches its final stages, the tests to screen for the disease cause it to be caught far earlier than man in women.

Critics of the idea though point out that there are in fact hormonal differences in women that cause them to suffer from the disease at a higher rate than their male counterparts. Estrogen, the female hormone, causes the brain to be more receptive to moods and the times when women are most susceptible to clinical depression are at the times of their lives when estrogen levels are in flux, particularly when first enter puberty, after childbirth and during menopause. Women tend to be less susceptible to clinical depression at other times.

While the results may have been challenged by those who believe that the disease does affect women more than men, chances are that male depression is currently under diagnosed. Rather than seeing the disease be more prevalent in women, the statistics once it is better understood will shift so that there is not as large a gender gap when it comes to the most common form of mental illness. However, once clinical depression has been recognized it is easily treatable. The danger with letting the symptoms go onto long is that the patient may find themselves on drugs for the rest of their natural life.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor do I claim to be one. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, are injured, or are feeling thoughts of depression, anxiety, or anything else, please contact a medical professional IMMEDIATELY!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Leave a Reply