The Changing Face Of Depression

From childhood, men are taught to be macho, in control of their feelings and emotions.

by Dr. Michael B. Finkelstein, M.D., F.A.C.P., A.B.H.M.
posted on November 12th 2009

From childhood, men are taught to be macho, in control of their feelings and emotions. New research suggests that men are really good at hiding their feelings. As a result, they often grow up unable to fully express themselves and, when they do, their behavior often reflects their lack of development in this area. 

However, with the financial collapse, the landscape has and continues to change. Divorce, foreclosure, and lack of job security are at an all time high. With millions out of work and more to come, it is not surprising that more and more men are being diagnosed with depression. In the past, male depression may have been far more common than we knew, but now it is undeniable. 

Depression touches every race, income level, and age. Each year, at least 7% of men in the U.S. suffer from depression, that’s 6 million of us. The actual number could be much higher since identifying depression in men is difficult. The most serious consequence of depression in men is suicide. Men account for a staggering 80% of suicides in the U.S. While women are more likely to attempt suicide, men are 4 times more likely to succeed at killing themselves. 

Without sounding sexist on this matter, women are more apt to share their feelings with other women and support each other. Perhaps it is true they are naturally better at this than men. Men can learn from their lead and create their own community of support while at the same time addressing their concerns.

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