Globally, women are diagnosed with depression almost twice as often as men compared with men, however, a recent study examined this situation on the other hand by identifying alternative symptoms of depression specific to men.
Researchers led by Dr. Lisa E. Martin (LisaA. Martin, PhD), analyzed the data of the national mental health survey, which involved 3310 women and 2382 men, at the same time, scientists were trying to identify alternative symptoms. The main goal was to determine whether gender differences relative to depressive levels can be smoothed out when alternative symptoms are considered along with traditional ones.
Some of these alternative male symptoms included bouts of anger, aggression, substance abuse, and increased risk.
The results showed that alternative, as well as traditional, symptoms for men and women met the criteria for depression to the same extent, while 30.6% of men and 33.3% of women were diagnosed as having depression throughout the study.
The authors of the work note that most of the studies that study gender differences regarding depression have focused on the reasons why women have a greater risk of developing this disorder. However, according to Dr. Martin, depressed men may experience symptoms that are different from normal ones that are not included in existing diagnostic criteria.
According to research information, depression affects approximately 16% of the American population annually, which is more than 32 million people.
Despite the fact that this study was the first to analyze male symptoms of depression in light of gender differences, researchers note that future research should lead to an understanding of how femininity and masculinity affect depression, not relying on gender as the only possible indicator.