Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Depression Without Sadness

Here are some classic symptoms of depression:
• Persistent sadness or anxiety
• Difficulty concentrating and remembering things
• Fatigue and diminished energy
• Changes in sleep and appetite
• Feelings of hopelessness, guilt, and/or worthlessness
• Thoughts of death and/or suicide
And here are atypical, or less obvious symptoms, which may often occur in men:
• Digestive problems
• Headaches; joint, back, or muscle pain; chest pain
• Anger
• Recklessness
• Violent behavior
• Compulsive behavior

  • Larry Parker

    Sounds like either a commercial for Cymbalta 😉 (sorry, I couldn’t help it) or a fairly accurate clinical description of the bipolar “mixed state” I am just now coming out of. (Maybe/pray/keep your fingers crossed …)

  • Wisdum

    DAM ! You been reading my diary, or in cahoots with my wife ?
    LUV 2 ALL

  • Jim G

    The top list of symptoms occurs just as much in men – I don’t believe the “difference” really, based on my experience anyways.
    I think the real issue is “twice as many women seek treatment with a mental health professional than men,” and not “twice as many women have depression than men.”
    If the top list did not apply to men, why is the suicide rate for men 4 times that of women?

  • Jim G

    Well then I read that women attempt suicide more than men, but aren’t nearly as successful. Still, I don’t think that means more women have depression at all. Just as they are more likely to seek treatment, so too would they be more likely to make an attempt, and perhaps a half hearted attempt more often than men, as an acting out method of seeking help.
    Here are some suicide statistics:
    Every 17 minutes another life is lost to suicide. Every day 86 Americans take their own life and over 1500 attempt suicide.
    Suicide was the eighth leading cause of death of all Americans, the third leading cause of death for young people 15-24.
    For every two victims of homicide in the U.S. there are three deaths from suicide.
    There are now twice as many deaths due to suicide than due to HIV/AIDS.
    Between 1952 and 1995, the incidence of suicide among adolescents and young adults nearly tripled.
    In the month prior to their suicide, 75% of elderly persons had visited a physician.
    *** Over half of all suicides occur in adult men, aged 25-65. ***
    *** White men accounted for 72% of all suicides. ***
    *** Women are more likely to attempt suicide. However, men are four times more likely to die from suicide than are women. ***
    *** Many who make suicide attempts never seek professional care immediately after the attempt. *** I am guessing that this could be linked to the other possible fact that many men never seek professional care (and therefore aren’t tallied in the total figure of men and women with depression.)
    More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia and influenza, and chronic lung disease, combined.
    Suicide took the lives of 30,535 Americans in 1997 (11.4 per 100,000 population).
    Nearly 3 of every 5 suicides were committed with a firearm.
    *** Divorced or separated men are more than twice as likely to commit suicide as men who remain married. *** (And how many of these divorced or separated men seek mental health treatment?)
    *** Divorce and separation do not appear to affect suicide risk in women. ***
    Suicide rates are highest among Americans aged 65+.
    *** Men accounted for 83% of suicides in this category. ***
    Firearms were the most common method of suicide by both men and women accounting for 77% of men and 33% of women suicides in that age group.
    Risk factors for suicide among older persons differ from those among the young.
    *** Older persons have a higher prevalence of depression***, a greater use of highly lethal methods and social isolation. (Then why aren’t we giving them all a light dose of anti depressants?)
    They also make fewer attempts per completed suicide, have a higher-male-to-female ratio than other groups, have often visited a healthcare provider before their suicide, (But they do not say mental healthcare provider – they are talking about people diagnosed with terminal illnesses and “pulling their own plug” it would seem) and have more physical illness.
    Persons under 25 account for 15% of all suicides.
    The incidence of suicide has nearly tripled in this age group since 1952.
    Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds, behind unintentional injury and homicide.
    Among persons 15-19, firearm-related suicides accounted for 62% of the increase in the overall rate of suicide.
    *** The risk for suicide among young people is greatest among young white males although the suicide rates increased most rapidly among young black males. ***
    Although suicide among young children is a rare event, the dramatic increase in the rate among persons aged 10-14 underscores the urgent need for intensifying efforts to prevent suicide among persons in this age group.

  • Cully

    Jim G writes: I think the real issue is “twice as many women seek treatment with a mental health professional than men,” and not “twice as many women have depression than men.”
    I think you have hit the nail on the head… this is the same issue where domestic and/or sexual violence is concerned. Society has done a great injustice to men by making asking for help a sign of “weakness”

  • Larry Parker

    I would POLITELY ask that you re-read Therese’s original post.
    The “male” symptoms she described in the second list were, as I parsed it, IN ADDITION TO and not INSTEAD OF those in the first list.
    Re. older people: I think Dr. Rabins spoke to the differences between biochemical depression (this is what he found to have a lower prevalence) and situational depression (the very fact of being elderly creates enormous possibilities for sadness — though this does not necessarily always merit treatment with SSRI’s, either).
    We also don’t know how many senior suicides are not JUST from depression but also from a Dr. Kevorkian-type instinct of wanting to assert control in advance of one’s inexorable physical decline, particularly from a devastating and irreversible/incurable disease. From news reports, at least, this seems tragically common.
    Re. statistics: The stats for men and suicide are undeniable and horrendous. But I think we also must be careful not to say women’s depression isn’t “real” just because they don’t act on it in the worst way (as often; there are still countless female suicides) the way men do. Smacks a bit of Freud’s sexist concept of “hysteria,” IMHO.
    PS — Just as we have to be careful about saying men are “weak,” as Cully put it, by not seeking treatment. That term is a stigma from society, not something internal — though a man may well unwittingly internalize the label, if not the actuality, from society prejudiced against mental illness and its sufferers. One of my favorite sayings is that, by the very fact of doing so (“ipso facto” in Latin), anyone who survives with depression is strong.

  • Cully

    I never said men are weak by not seeking treatment. I said, “Society has done a great injustice to men by making asking for help a sign of ‘weakness’.” As, also, society has not allowed *real men* to use the vocabulary that would signal those around them that they are hurting and need help.

  • Larry Parker

    Thanks for clarifying. I should too.
    Maybe I didn’t phrase it the best way, but what I was **trying** to say was not only that men are NOT “weak,” but also that even to bring up that description can be problematic because the label comes from stigma, not reality. (As indeed, it was problematic for us …)
    I could just be parsing things too much. But then again, I am a writer IRL. (Sigh.)

  • Margaret Balyeat

    I think part of the whole thing is tied into gender imprinting such as “realmen don’t cry” and “real women don’t fight”
    In terms of the elderly, I think it’s ABSOLUTELY

  • Jehnavi

    Clinical depression is often a vague disorder for African- American women. It may produce an abundance of “depressions” in the lives of the women who experience its ongoing, relentless symptoms. The old adage of “being sick and tired of being sick and tired” is quite relevant for these women, since they often suffer from persistent, untreated physical and emotional symptoms. If these women consult health professionals, they are frequently told that they are hypertensive, run down, or tense and nervous. They may be prescribed antihypertensives, vitamins, or mood elevating pills; or they may be informed to lose weight, learn to relax, get a change of scenery, or get more exercise. The root of their symptoms frequently is not explored; and these women continue to complain of being tired, weary, empty, lonely, sad. Other women friends and family members may say, “We all feel this way sometimes, it’s just the way it is for us Black women.

  • builderman

    I am a man but when the SAD comes upon me it is real bad, and it always starts within a week or two of the time change. It makes me feel like I am empty, cold and alone even when with the ones I love. There is anxiety, depression and a total loss of hope of anything, I liken it to the description of going to Hades. I have had all the signs mentioned above as well. I have started on 3 meds 1 for depression 1 for bipolar and 1 for ADHD. The first two I have been on for about a year with mixed results. But the ADHD med has done more good than the others. Remember God is with us all and Never give up.

  • Jehnavi

    Depression among females is quite prevalent and actually they are two folds more prone to developing clinical depression as compared to males. Also 1 from each 4 females would possibly be experiencing a major depression event during some stage in her life.
    Depression is a grave & all-encompassing mood condition making one feel sad, hopeless, helpless & worthless. Depression symptoms could be mild-ranging to medium intensity with signs of indifference, hardly any craving for food, sleep-related problems, less self-worth & low-grading tiredness. A person could even be suffering from major depression and experience symptoms like downbeat mood on majority of the day, lowered interests in day-to-day tasks, weight reduction or increase, sleeplessness or excessively sleeping (hypersomnia), exhaustion, feeling guiltiness on nearly all days & recurrent thoughts related to dying or suicidal thought process.

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