Depression symptoms easier to spot in women - so many men remain undiagnosed
Gender stereotyping tends to make many overlook common, pressing symptoms, doctor says
It's easy to tell when a female is feeling down, many say. Women are more open about their feelings, and - a common male conception - are highly vocal about expressing their displeasure. Henceforth, symptoms of depression in women are more readily available in women - and many men with the same condition therefore remain undiagnosed.
When presented with a scenario of a man or woman in distress, men were more likely to say a woman was depressed than their male counterparts.
In the study, Dr. Viren Swami, a reader in psychology at the University of Westminster, presented study participants with one of two fictitious subjects, Kate and Jack. Both had identical symptoms of major depression, the only difference being their suggested gender.
"For the past two weeks, Kate/Jack has been feeling really down," a sample of the test reads.
"S/he wakes up in the morning with a flat, heavy feeling that sticks with her/him all day. S/he isn't enjoying things the way s/he normally would. S/he finds it hard to concentrate on anything."
The respondents were then asked to identify whether the individual described suffered a mental health disorder. They were also asked how likely they would be to recommend seeking professional help to the subject in the test.
Both men and women were equally likely to classify "Kate" as having a mental health disorder, but men were less likely than women to indicate that Jack suffered from depression.
"Men were also more likely to recommend that Kate seek professional help than women were, but both men and women were equally likely to make this suggestion for Jack," Swami says.
"Respondents, particularly men, rated Kate's case as significantly more distressing, difficult to treat, and deserving of sympathy than they did Jack's case."
Individual attitudes towards depression were associated with skepticism about psychiatry and anti-scientific attitudes, Swami added.
"The results are significant for initiatives aimed at enhancing mental health literacy, which should consider the impact of gender stereotypes and attitudes towards help-seeking behaviors," Swami added.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Gender stereotyping, depression, study, diagnosis, mental health
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Health News
- Scientists discover why cancer spreads in human body
- Generic drugs to be more readily available after court ruling
- If you don't stop it -- you'll go blind! Sick sexual fetish can be dangerous, doctors warn
- HIV BREAKTHROUGH: New AIDS prevention pill may cut infection rates in IV drug users by 50 percent
- Brestfeeding baby has benefits for mom too!
- Blood test may one day replace colonoscopy
- Man suing plastic surgeon after he awakes with NO NOSE
- Federal officials issue warning about MERS, may be spread by Muslim pilgrimage
- Study: Babies fed fish less likely to develop allergies
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?