My good friend and blogging buddy Therese Borchard just posted an important piece on depression in men. Please, go read it. Okay, this is an issue I have strong feelings about. Let’s begin.
Way back, on my own, I began to question why twice as many women were diagnosed with depression as men. It didn’t seem right. I turned up research by Jed Diamond, Terrance Real, and William Pollack, and suddenly it all came in loud and clear. Following is a fusion of their views, combined with my own …
Basically, men express their depressions in ways very different to women. The DSM symptom checklists reel off behavior that far more fits the stereotype of weepy and over-ruminating women. Men, by contrast, tend to hide their emotions, or express them as grouchy or aggressive behavior.
Coping behaviors are also different: Women are communicative, men sullen. Women are more willing to face their difficulties head on and seek help. Men go into denial and distract themselves such as by throwing themselves into their work.
Gender expectations feed into the mix. Men are expected to be strong, show no sign of weakness.
Add to that, a host of hormonal influences. Women’s ebbs and flows get all the attention, but men may be