How Men and Women Differ When It Comes to Depression
The fact is that women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with depression, but the jury is out on whether that means they really have it more. However, women’s biology is set up differently with different hormone amounts, which can explain the discrepancy.
- Women Dwell More Than Men – We know that most women tend to like to talk about things more. But a woman who is into her depression might have more circular thoughts and conversations with others than men. Unfortunately, dwelling doesn’t make anything better. Negative thoughts breed more negative thoughts.
- Men Self-Medicate More Than Women – Men who suffer from depression are more likely to use substances to overcome their symptoms. Like dwelling, this just makes it worse because the abuse of substances tends to make them feel even more worthless, hopeless, and sad.
- Women Tend to Experience Depression More from Life Events – This may be because women carry most of the home life responsibility, even in today’s world. Women are expected to work and be the primary caregivers for home and family. This overwhelms many women to the point that they struggle to process life events in a healthy manner.
- Depression Is Harder to Diagnose in Men – Because most men don’t talk about their feelings and keep things close to the vest, it’s sometimes harder to diagnose depression in men until it’s too late.
- Women Experience Eating Disorders with Depression More Than Men – Women often have eating disorders along with depression. Either they eat too much and gain weight, or they can lose too much weight or develop anorexia or other eating disorders.
- Medications Don’t Work the Same for Men and Women – When it comes to providing medical treatment for depression, men and women differ in what works for them due to the differences in hormonal balances.
- Men Are More Likely to Resort to Suicide – Men commit suicide at a higher rate, partly due to the difficulty in diagnosing men. The depression might get worse when undiagnosed, causing it to become so severe that the first time anyone realizes they’re depressed is when they attempt suicide or worse, succeed.
While there are differences in both diagnoses and treatment for men and women, it’s imperative to get the right treatment. Most trained therapists know that there are differences and will address them. You should seek help from a therapist that makes you feel comfortable and is trained to work with your gender.
Next week we will take a look at the importance of seeking help and some of the treatment options that are available.