Depression in Men and Women
There is no real evidence that points to a particular form of ‘male’ depression but the signs of depression in adult males do appear to differ, as do the ways men cope with depression. The fact that denial, or lack of symptom recognition, plays a strong part in male depression perhaps blurs the full extent of the problem. The ramifications of depression are far clearer, with an estimated 80 percent of suicides in the US being men.
Depression, so the old saying goes, is anger turned inwards, but how useful or accurate is this when applied to men? From what we know of the signs of depression in adult males it is more common for women to internalize their emotions and for men to externalize theirs. Men, for example, are more likely to blame others for the way they feel whereas women are inclined to blame themselves. Whilst women feel sad, worthless and anxious, men get angry, irritable, suspicious and defensive.
Get men to talk about how they are feeling when depressed and the male experience of depression becomes clearer. There is often an undercurrent of anger and hostility in the way they feel. They may reveal an increase in interpersonal conflict either at work, or home, or both. They are more acutely aware that things are going wrong for them, that somehow they have been set up to fail and that others who could help have chosen not to. There is a greater sense of isolation and frustration about the lack of respect and acknowledgment they feel they deserve.