Gender has been and very likely always will be a subject of great debate. Are men and women more different than alike, can those differences ever be perceived as equal and how do we address those differences and understand better how and why they exist? It goes without saying that men and women are very much alike in many ways, in others they are different. Men and women may think, act, and behave differently in similar circumstances with similar stimuli or scenarios. When it comes to the realm of psychology it has been identified that these behavioral, mental, and psychological differences can be attributed to a number of different things, including the general biology, societal gender roles, and individual emotions and mentalities. Depression is one of the areas where men and women differ greatly. At present, women are twice as more likely, based on their gender alone, of developing and suffering from serious depression (Borchard, 2015). That said these differences directly affect the likelihood of female over male depression but women is also a greater likelihood of gaining diagnosis and seeking treatment; the latter is something that is rarer in men than women. That said this translates into a somewhat morbid reality that while more women suffer from depression than men, men are more likely to suffer from depression is silence.
Depression can occur for any number of reasons. There are many disappointments, losses, stresses and burdens that can lead an individual into a state of depression. There are also chemical imbalances that can occur in the brain which can cause a person whose is not experiencing negative life experiences to still feeling hopeless and depressed. Regardless it remains mathematically certain that the emotions that lead to depression are far more typical among women than men, but men are not free of depression. In fact, while the number of male depression diagnosis is much lower than females it does not mean that they are not suffering from it; they are just less likely to report or seek treatment. Men are more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol to fix the problem. That said while more women may be diagnosed and treated for depression, men are three times more likely to commit suicide due an undiagnosed issue with depression; mostly because the disease progresses without intervention making its effects far more extreme in many men over women. (Nierenberg, 2014).
Experts and medical professional have dedicated decades of study to understanding the causes and possible treatments for people who suffer from depression, regardless of their gender. However, there are 5 specific areas that are relevant in understanding the differences between men and women when it comes to a predisposition for depression and the diagnosing of depression in the modern era.
On a biological level, women are more likely to develop depression than men because females naturally have far greater shifts in their hormone levels on a regular basis (Burton, 2012).
While boys and girls are equally as likely to suffer from juvenile depression as of the early teens the difference begin to manifest. Women and young girls within child bearing ages are the most likely to develop depression. This is never truer than during pregnancy and immediately following childbirth; many are familiar with the condition post-partum depression (Burton, 2012).
Women are more "rumative" than men. Women think about negative situations and events more often and relive the unpleasant emotions, men on the other hand lean towards anger or stoicism in highly emotional situations (Burton, 2012).
Women overall live longer than men. Because many women outlive the men in their lives they are more likely to suffer depression in their latter years because of loss and loneliness (Burton, 2012). This also concurs with the sicknesses developed as we age, female patients with serious health conditions are more likely to suffer from depression than men, especially later in life (Frazier, Yu & et. al. 2012).
Men and women respond differently to stress; and in the modern era women experience more stress in many cases than men. The gender role of men has not really changed; however, women today are very busy. They are more likely to be not only raising children and being wives, but also bread winners; this creates greater stress and therefore greater avenues for depression (Nierenberg, 2014).
The reality is that the two genders do experience emotions and their emotional response to those experiences can be greatly different. However, when asked which gender suffers more from depression it goes without saying that women appear to be the unfortunate majority in the grand scheme of things. However, that number might not be so different if more men recognized depression in themselves and that they would seek out treatment. The huge gap between men and women as far as depression is concerned is not just a result of the biology and stressors, but also of gender roles that deter men from admitting that they may be suffering from depression. That said depression is a condition that does affect people of all genders, all ages and all demographics. It leads women into instability and sorrow and leads men to drug addiction and potentially suicide. Addressing the modern issues of depression with the use of therapies, counseling and possibly drug interventions have been successful in many cases of lessening the symptom of depression if not helping to eliminate them, for some patients, all together. At the end of the day, however, the reality is that women do suffer more from depression as a whole, but men suffer more in silence than women.
Borchard, T.J. (2015).Why Do Women Get Depressed More Than Men?.Psyche Central. 1.
Retrieved July 2, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/09/22/why-do-women-get-depressed-more-than-men/
Burton, N. (2012). The 7 Reasons Why Depression is More Common in Women. Psychology
Today.1. Retrieved, July 2, 2015, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hide-and-seek/201205/the-7-reasons-why-depression-is-more-common-in-women
Frazier, L, Yu, E. & et. al. (2012). Gender differences in self-reported symptoms of depression
among patients with acute coronary syndrome. Nursing Research and Practice.1-5.
Nierenberg, C. (2014). 7 ways depression differs in men and women. Live Science Magazine. 1.
Retrieved July 2, 2015, from http://www.livescience.com/45061-depression-differs-men-women-symptoms.html