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Beyond Blue

Also in the Fall 2007 issue of the “Johns Hopkins Depression and Anxiety Bulletin,” a closer look at the symptoms of depression in men, and how they differ to classical symptoms most often found in women:

It is difficult to make definitive statements about differences in how men and women FEEL when they’re depressed. However, it is clear that how men and women express those feelings can be different.
Most experts agree that men are more likely to act out their inner turmoil, while women are more likely to turn their feelings inward. Here are some of the differences:


Female Depression
• Feels sad, apathetic, and worthless
• Feels anxious and scared
• Always tries to be nice
• Withdraws when feeling hurt
• Feels slowed down and nervous
• Blames herself
• Has trouble setting boundaries
• Uses food, friends, and “love” to self-medicate
• Believes her problems could be solved if she could be a better spouse, co-worker, parent, friend, etc.
• Asks herself, “Am I lovable enough?”
Male Depression
• Feels angry, irritable, and underappreciated
• Feels suspicious and guarded
• Behaves overtly and overtly hostile
• Attacks when feeling hurt
• Feels restless and agitated
• Feels others are to blame
• Needs control at all costs
• Uses alcohol, TV, sports, and sex to self-medicate
• Believes his problems could be solved if his spouse, co-worker, parent, friend, etc. would treat him better
• Asks himself, “Am I being loved enough?”
Although studies show that depression is more than twice as common in women as in men, some experts believe that male depression is significantly underdiagnosed, primarily because the symptoms are not necessarily what we expect.
Research also suggests there may be genetic differences between depression in men and women. Five years ago, researches from the University of Pittsburgh identified 19 chromosomal regions linked to one form of major depression, but only three of them were significantly linked in both men and women. The other 16 were only linked in one sex.

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