Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


Mars and Venus in Tears: Men, Women, and Depression

posted by Beyond Blue

On Oprah’s website, I found this interesting article about the difference in symptoms between women and men who suffer from depression:

According to psychiatrist Dr. Gail Saltz, author of “Anatomy of a Secret Life,” major depression and dysthymia affect twice as many women as men. This two-to-one ratio exists regardless of racial and ethnic background or economic status. Although it’s the same condition, it’s important to note that the signs of depression in women and men can be very different.

Women and Depression

A variety of factors that are unique to women’s lives are suspected to play a role in developing depression. Research is focused on understanding these factors, including:

* Reproductive
* Hormonal
* Genetic or other biological factors
* Abuse and oppression
* Interpersonal factors
* Certain psychological and personality characteristics

Still, the specific causes of depression in women remain unclear, and many women exposed to these factors never develop depression.

In particular, societal factors may contribute to a woman’s depression, because Dr. Saltz says women are more socialized to be passive and tend to blame themselves when something doesn’t go right. Women are more likely to suffer guilt and appear genuinely hopeless and genuinely feel bad about themselves. “Women particularly feel tremendous overwhelming guilt. You don’t take pleasure in anything,” Dr. Saltz says. “[They feel] guilt about everything and anything and things that are irrational–’I'm a bad person.’

In fact, when you go on to have severe, severe, severe depression, which can become psychotic, you can have delusions that, ‘I am so bad that my insides are rotting. My brain is rotting.’”

Men and Depression

According to a February 2007 “Newsweek” cover story, 6 million men will be diagnosed with depression this year alone. Millions more will go undiagnosed, Dr. Saltz says, because men do not generally display the more outward signs of depression, such as crying or expressing a sense of hopelessness.

Instead, Dr. Saltz says men tend to shift the blame for how they are feeling from what they feel on the inside to outside things. “Men exhibit through anger or irritability. Men are more likely to be overlooked because they appear to be a ‘jerk,’” Dr. Saltz says. “They are less likely to think it is depression because they will externalize. It’s the ‘bad boss’ or the ‘bad wife.’”

In addition to being less likely to see a doctor or a health professional who might notice signs of depression, Dr. Saltz says men are more prone to using alcohol or drug abuse as an outlet, making it more difficult for others to see the signs of depression. “People may think, ‘He’s a mean drunk,’” Dr. Saltz says. Eventually, people may just assume a man suffers from alcoholism, not depression.



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colin spratt

posted June 5, 2007 at 8:50 am


Hi Beyondblue, I work as a volunteer with http://www.adsindistress.asn.au in Austraia I am a Moderator on the Web Site, and can re-assure you that men do not seek the help they need. They do not as yet, though we are teaching them to join Dads in distress groups around Australia. Tony Miller is the Founder, and multiple stories and forums are provided to assist, as we are losing 5 men per day to known suicide, from the depression brought on by family breakdown. Also, it is woman who naturally leaves ….along with her children. Yes men are hard to treat, and more difficult to find, so they can be assisted. I would be pleased if you would contact me in regard to the issue, as we all need to take action, and provide support for those affected, and encourage the care-takers. My very best regards Colin Spratt 18 Lights St Emerald Beach 2456 NSW Australia.



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colin spratt

posted June 5, 2007 at 8:51 am


should read Post by Colin Sprattwww.dadsindistress.asn.au



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sherri

posted June 9, 2007 at 10:52 am


i suffer from depression myself, however, i find it extremely difficult to help my significant other (MALE) WITH HIS DEPRESSION/ HE LIVES IN THE PAST AND IS AN ALCOH0 LIC. I AM SO FRUSTRATED, BECAUSE I WANT TO HELP HIM AND CANNOT. I WON’T LEAVE HIM BECAUSE I UNDERSTAND HIS ILLNESS, HOWEVER, I KNOW IN MY HEART OF HEARTS HE IS NOT THE BEST FOR ME. I AM VERY COMMITTED TO HIM AS THE VOWS STATE FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE, BUT I AM AT A LOSS. PLEASE HELP



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