Background It is often reported that men have lower rates of depression
than women, but this does not necessarily signify better overall
mental health in the male population.
Objective This article discusses the presentation of depression in men and
how it may differ from that of women. It also provides strategies
for improving the assessment of depression in men.
Discussion Men’s lower overall rate of depression than women reflects a
number of issues, including psychosocial barriers to seeking
help. Depression rates vary according to age groups, and
certain subgroups of men may be particularly vulnerable. Men
often display different symptoms and behaviours in response
to depression and experience anxiety disorders less frequently.
Men’s greater risk taking and substance abuse have health
outcomes that can impact on depression later in life. Women
have greater emotional literacy and are more likely to volunteer
how they feel, while men are more likely to do something
about their negative affect. While men are usually wary about
talking about their depression, they will discuss their feelings if
provided with a safe environment in which to do so.
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