Male Depression: A position paper analyzing the symptoms of male depression and detailling how it can be worse than female depression by society's standards.

Essay by NelthariusHigh School, 12th grade October 2005

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Everyone has bad days, and everyone feels extremely sad or angry sometimes in his or her life. When those negative feelings are prolonged, then perhaps they have acquired a form or depression. Depression afflicts over 18 million people every year. With nearly twice the amount of cases of depression, women are at higher risk for depression. However, every year, four times as many men than women, commit suicide because of depression-related causes. Thus, in society, depression is males is more severe than depression in females.

Depression is the most common mental illness suffered by men. The main problem with male depression is that men often do not recognize it as well as women do. The phenomenon that male depression exhibits different symptoms than female depression is relatively new. Because of this, very few hard statistics are available about male depression.

Society in general shares a "feminized view of depression, coming out of a model of hysteria that dates back to Freud.

As a consequence, men's depression is extremely underdiagnosed." According to Terrence Real, co-Director of Harvard University's Gender Research Project and a psychotherapist in Newton, Ma., men tend to be more covert in expressing their depression. This means that men who have depression are often not aware that they are afflicted. Figure 1 shows a supplemental chart developed by Jed Diamond, MSW and a forty-year psychotherapist, detailing the symptoms of male depression and female depression. As the chart shows, men who are depressed exhibit traits that are typical of the lazy short-tempered male archetype.

On a general level, depressed women tend to internalize their feelings, and are not hesitant about expressing them and talking to others about them. This is in sharp contrast with how men deal with depression. Men tend to suppress their feelings, and so whatever they can...