Male Depression: A Position Paper Analyzing The Symptoms Of Male Depression And Detailling How It Can Be Worse Than Female Depression By Society's Standards.

1319 words - 5 pages

Everyone has bad days, and everyone feels extremely sad or angry sometimes in his or her life. When those negative feelings are prolonged, then perhaps they have acquired a form or depression. Depression afflicts over 18 million people every year. With nearly twice the amount of cases of depression, women are at higher risk for depression. However, every year, four times as many men than women, commit suicide because of depression-related causes. Thus, in society, depression is males is more severe than depression in females.Depression is the most common mental illness suffered by men. The main problem with male depression is that men often do not recognize it as well as women do. The phenomenon that male depression exhibits different symptoms than female depression is relatively new. Because of this, very few hard statistics are available about male depression.Society in general shares a "feminized view of depression, coming out of a model of hysteria that dates back to Freud. As a consequence, men's depression is extremely underdiagnosed." According to Terrence Real, co-Director of Harvard University's Gender Research Project and a psychotherapist in Newton, Ma., men tend to be more covert in expressing their depression. This means that men who have depression are often not aware that they are afflicted. Figure 1 shows a supplemental chart developed by Jed Diamond, MSW and a forty-year psychotherapist, detailing the symptoms of male depression and female depression. As the chart shows, men who are depressed exhibit traits that are typical of the lazy short-tempered male archetype.On a general level, depressed women tend to internalize their feelings, and are not hesitant about expressing them and talking to others about them. This is in sharp contrast with how men deal with depression. Men tend to suppress their feelings, and so whatever they can to distract themselves from those feelings. A study followed a sample of fourteen men from various backgrounds who were diagnosed with major depression. All fourteen of them reported a lack of connectedness with others. Only one described experiencing intimate emotional relationships with other men, and even then, "interactions [with emotional partners] were few and infrequent." This ties in perfectly with another study, which showed that "women, but not men, were sheltered against the impact of stressful life events by adequate social support. Men generally have fewer sociali supports available to them. Although men are more like to live in a household with someone else, they typically report having fewer friends whom they see on a regular basis, compared with women."6 With the lack of a confidant, men bear all the pain by themselves until an intimate parter or a catastrophic event forces them to seek help.Many men learn to overvalue independence and self-control during childhood. They are taught that it is effeminate to express pain, weakness, uncertainty, helplessness and sadness. All but one the...

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