A n Ove rview of Men and Depression Mas culinity Norms, Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Treatment
Depression & Masculine Norms <ul><li>Men are diagnosed with depression at lower rates then women, yet they commit suicide ...
Masculinity Norms <ul><li>When men fail to live up to societal expectations, they experience anxiety and shame. </li></ul>...
Sex Differences <ul><li>One study accounted for the difference in rates of depression by citing that puberty, hormones, an...
Sex Differences & Depression <ul><li>Although the experience of depression is not significantly different, the  expression...
Aspects of Depression <ul><li>Men are likely to suffer from insomnia and increased agitation.  </li></ul><ul><li>General s...
Male Expression of Depression <ul><li>Socialized to suppress vulnerable feelings; however, ANGER is acceptable.  </li></ul...
Problems in Diagnosis <ul><li>Masculine Norms: Men do not want to report their “feminine” feelings (response bias). </li><...
More Diagnosis Issues <ul><li>When men do attempt to get care for depression, they frequently experience “fragmented pathw...
Personal/Health Care Barriers  <ul><li>Personal: </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to acknowledge or identify mental health proble...
Two Major Barriers <ul><li>Two major experiences which caused men to cease treatment include: </li></ul><ul><li>Needing to...
Effective Treatment <ul><li>Medication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SSRI, MAOI </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Takes commitment and ti...
Ways Psychologists Make Therapy More Comfortable <ul><li>Some psychologists are responding to the issues getting men to co...
Conclusion <ul><li>Not only are men confronted with the task of growing up to be strong, independent, masculine, dominant,...
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Men and depression: From masculine norms and gender differences to symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

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Presentation by Jaime Canterbury, Sean Kindt, Shannon Selander, Katie Van Der Meer, Nicole Weinert, Natalie Wolfers, and Christen Wright

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Men and depression: From masculine norms and gender differences to symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

  1. 1. A n Ove rview of Men and Depression Mas culinity Norms, Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Treatment
  2. 2. Depression & Masculine Norms <ul><li>Men are diagnosed with depression at lower rates then women, yet they commit suicide 10 times more often. </li></ul><ul><li>To understand the discrepancy between these statistics, psychologists have looked at Masculinity Norms. </li></ul><ul><li>Masculinity norms include gender roles & the “Boy Code.” </li></ul><ul><li>Society (media) tells men that the standard experience is violent, dominant, high status, and “playboy.” </li></ul>
  3. 3. Masculinity Norms <ul><li>When men fail to live up to societal expectations, they experience anxiety and shame. </li></ul><ul><li>Men with depression are forced to choose between living in sadness or living in the shame of weakness or vulnerability. </li></ul><ul><li>Masculinity norms themselves can also cause depression when men fail to live up in any area, for example, low financial status or lack of gender identification. </li></ul><ul><li>Bottom line: Masculinity norms can both perpetuate and mask depression in men. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Sex Differences <ul><li>One study accounted for the difference in rates of depression by citing that puberty, hormones, and body image issues increase rates of female depression early in life, while males generally do not develop symptoms until adulthood. (Girls have a head-start) </li></ul><ul><li>Male depression is more cognitive and situational. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Sex Differences & Depression <ul><li>Although the experience of depression is not significantly different, the expression is. </li></ul><ul><li>Men “avoid it,” “numb it,” “escape it,” “hate self, hurt others,” and sometimes “step over the line” in dealing with depression. </li></ul><ul><li>Men would rather bottle their feelings than share them with a significant other. </li></ul><ul><li>Women, on the other hand, are much more likely to turn to care-giving to help with depression. </li></ul><ul><li>Manifestation of symptoms is more extreme. </li></ul><ul><li>Women experience tearfulness, loss of self-esteem, weight gain, & hypersomnia. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Aspects of Depression <ul><li>Men are likely to suffer from insomnia and increased agitation. </li></ul><ul><li>General symptoms of depression include worrying, restlessness, irritability, loss of hope, lack of energy, loss of libido, and decreased/ increased appetite. </li></ul><ul><li>Depressed individuals are more likely to live alone, have a disability, suffer from cognitive impairment, and experience comorbidity. </li></ul><ul><li>Social isolation and lack of motivation increases risk of death. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Male Expression of Depression <ul><li>Socialized to suppress vulnerable feelings; however, ANGER is acceptable. </li></ul><ul><li>Anger serves as a mask for sadness and fear – defense mechanism. </li></ul><ul><li>A frequent coping mechanism is alcohol and substance abuse. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Problems in Diagnosis <ul><li>Masculine Norms: Men do not want to report their “feminine” feelings (response bias). </li></ul><ul><li>Women are told that sadness is an acceptable emotion, men are frequently admonished for it. </li></ul><ul><li>The higher the promise of follow-up, the less likely men are to report their depression. </li></ul><ul><li>Men actively avoid attending to their depressive symptoms and are socialized to remain the “Sturdy Oak”, ascribe to “No Sissy Stuff,” and always be the “Big Wheel”. </li></ul>Stoic; no emotional expression; can’t admit to failure
  9. 9. More Diagnosis Issues <ul><li>When men do attempt to get care for depression, they frequently experience “fragmented pathways.” </li></ul><ul><li>Treatment is often irregular and infrequent, either because of negative connotations or experiences on the part of the men. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Personal/Health Care Barriers <ul><li>Personal: </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to acknowledge or identify mental health problems. </li></ul><ul><li>Inability to articulate feelings or emotions. </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulties navigating the referral system. </li></ul><ul><li>Heath Care: </li></ul><ul><li>Mislabeling patient problems. </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to identify underlying factors. </li></ul><ul><li>Disrespectful treatment of patients. </li></ul><ul><li>Insufficient assessment. </li></ul><ul><li>Overreliance on medications. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Two Major Barriers <ul><li>Two major experiences which caused men to cease treatment include: </li></ul><ul><li>Needing to resort to drastic measures in order to be taken seriously. </li></ul><ul><li>Experience of indignities during hospitalization. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Effective Treatment <ul><li>Medication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SSRI, MAOI </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Takes commitment and time before results </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Psychotherapy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cognitive behavioral </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interperso nal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Electroshock Therapy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Used in extreme cases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Patient is unable to take medication and life is threatened by depression </li></ul></ul><ul><li>H erbal/Holistic Therapy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Still under investigation for effectiveness </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Ways Psychologists Make Therapy More Comfortable <ul><li>Some psychologists are responding to the issues getting men to commit to interpersonal therapy. </li></ul><ul><li>To make more comfortable: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Masculine decoration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sports theme </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Consultation” or “Meeting” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These subtle changes highlight the socially acceptable practice of male bonding through a professional, sports-like, or manly medium. </li></ul><ul><li>These therapists are sensitive to male experience of shame, and take things slowly and personally. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Conclusion <ul><li>Not only are men confronted with the task of growing up to be strong, independent, masculine, dominant, and care-free individuals, but they must also do this without yielding to societal pressures – men are not allowed by our society to fear, feel pain, and, specifically, to be depressed. </li></ul><ul><li>The importance of altering masculinity and gender rules cannot be overstated. There is a direct link between the manner in which a man is raised to think about acceptable emotions and life’s harsh demands. To ignore the part society plays in the poisoning of the male mind, from a young age throughout his lifespan, is to do every man a great disservice. Professionals in the field of Psychology must pursue efforts to welcome and inform men concerning their mental wellness and their battles with depression. </li></ul>

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