Depression in Men Manifests Differently

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The clinical picture of a woman who is depressed is different from that of a man who is experiencing depression.  Men with depression may show symptoms of anger or aggression, signs of substance abuse or risky behavior.  A recent study found that the tools used to screen for depression focus on symptoms typically reported by women with depression.  If we are not accounting for the gender differences in how depression is experienced, this may explain the higher rates of depression diagnoses among women.   For example, a man with depression may not report any of the usual symptoms of sadness, crying or sleep problems.  Researchers found that when a survey was conducted that included traditional symptoms of depression as well as other symptoms more often experienced by men, the rate of depression found among women and men was almost equal, 30.6% for men and 33.3% for women.

In our society, these external behaviors, getting mad or drinking excessively, are more socially acceptable in men than behaviors such as crying.  It is important to find out more about how depression manifests in men.  Men have a much higher rate of death by suicide than women.  They are also less likely to seek treatment.  Hopefully, if we learn more about what depression looks like in men, we can figure out ways to provide education about the symptoms of depression and encourage treatment.

Click here to read more about the study chronicled on MedPage Today.

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