How Differently do Men and Women Cope with Depression?

Men vs Women Coping with Depression

As we all know how the saying goes Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. Well this holds as true as ever when it comes to symptoms of depression and how men and women cope differently. Men and women have different emotional needs. Men have a tendency to feel like the protector and hunter, while women like to feel safe understood, respect, and desired.

When both genders are not having their emotional needs fulfilled they tend to experience symptoms of depression. Men need to feel needed. When they don’t have this emotional need fulfilled they tend to feel empty and without purpose. Lack of appreciation and constant criticism will create feelings of anger and resentment which are a main symptom of depression found in men. Men work in a goal oriented manner. When they are encouraged to reach, and achieve their goals they feel success, but when they are discouraged and fall short of their goals they feel like failures, another symptom of depression. There is a common phrase we all know, and probably all have used at some point, “Come On! Be a man!”, stereotypes like these are what put pressure on men to hide their emotions, causing them to go deeper into feelings -of depression. Men must feel comfortable enough in their surroundings to express their concerns.

Women want to feel heard and cared for. Women are likely to experience symptoms of depressions from being left unheard and ignored. Common outcomes of depression in women result in  self- blame, feelings of guilt, and crying for no reason. It is also common for women who are suffering depression to develop an eating disorder to cope with it. Many women experience depression during and after pregnancy. With the change in weight gain, morning sickness, and change in hormones, women are prone to experience post partum depression.

Men and women commonly both experience depression from causes such as, genetics, chemical imbalance in the brain, unemployment, loss of a loved one, and stress.  Women are about twice as likely to suffer from depression. Some say this is because of their genetic and hormonal make up, while others say it is because women are just naturally more emotional than men. In a study done at the University of Michigan testing the different symptoms of depression in men and women it was found that Men endorsed anger attacks/aggression, substance abuse, and risk-taking behavior at significantly higher rates than women; while women endorsed stress, irritability, sleep problems, and loss of interest at significantly greater rates than men. Both men and women experience stress in different ways. It is important to understand that each gender is unique onto themselves and react differently to their emotions. Therefore they may also need to be approached and treated differently when it comes to treating symptoms of depression.

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Eric Silver is a writer and advocate for mental health awareness. Eric developed a personal passion for spreading mental health awareness in his adolescence when he became caretaker for a close family member battling depression. He’s researched and written extensively on mental health, depression and therapy.
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