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Depression in Men

Statistically, depression afflicts women twice as often as men. This could be because the condition may be under diagnosed in men, revealing more about our social mores than our medical care. In a society that equates masculinity with self-reliance and emotional self-control, seeking treatment for depression is out of sync with social norms. Some men are reluctant to even talk about their emotions let alone admit to feeling overwhelmed by them.

Even if a physician does diagnosis a man as depressed, he may refuse to accept treatment. Instead he may try to self-medicate with alcohol and drugs which not only masks the symptoms of clinical depression but can exacerbate the problem.

Depressed men are more prone to rage and violence than women and may display various uncharacteristic behaviors such as taking risks in their sexual partners or driving too fast. They may use work or sports as an escape from their feelings, becoming overly involved in these activities. Studies also indicate that men suffering from depression seem to think about suicide more frequently than women do.

Merln Hurd PhD; BCN, QEEGT

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