Survey Finds Men Suffering from Recession Depression

A GoodTherapy.org News Update

Given the relatively equal proportion of men to women in a given country, and relatively similar stressors, conditions, and experiences, it’s simple to predict that depression and related disorders will be about as prevalent between the sexes. But while the instance of depression may be more or less blind to sex, how people cope with the disorder may be another story. In the UK, a survey has been recently published, covering issues within the scope of depression arising from experiences of the global economic slump, and it appears that while some feelings and ideas may be shared, men and women react in a markedly different manner. Unfortunately, this difference may prove especially detrimental to men’s health; the survey shows that they are far less likely to seek therapy or discuss problems with friends or family than their female counterparts.

The survey, completed by the national charity group Mind, found that in a group of 2,000 participating adults, about 40% of men reported feeling low, and that only 29% of respondents would consider talking to family or friends about their difficulties. This figure, compared to the 53% of female participants who felt comfortable sharing with loved ones, presents a considerable problem in the ability to deliver quality care to male sufferers.

When it comes to seeking professional help, a third of surveyed males noted that they’d feel embarrassed by the prospect, and 5% reported having suicidal thoughts. In a social and economic climate that puts a great deal of pressure on men to perform well financially and exude strength and ability, many males are finding it increasingly hard to carve out their way to happiness. Though therapy can often help, programs and practitioners will have to find a way to reach out to this fairly reluctant group if widespread progress is to be made.

Reference: 

BBC news. (2009, May 10). Men ‘suffering recession blues.’ Retrieved from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8040699.stm

© Copyright 2009 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • candey

    candey

    May 20th, 2009 at 3:35 AM

    It’s very understandable why men may feel more depressed.. a lot of them feel as if they have to support the family and when things get tough, that’s when it hits them.

  • Keli

    Keli

    May 20th, 2009 at 3:41 AM

    recession is hard on everyone. I hope men going thru this will get help to help them as well as women

  • Steve

    Steve

    May 20th, 2009 at 5:08 AM

    This is really no big surprise to me given that for many families here in the US men are still the primary breadwinners and they feel such an overwhelming responsibility to provide for their families and that is quite difficult when people are losing their jobs right and left. I am scared every day that something is going to happen to my job, that it will just disappear and that I will have no way to continue giving me and my wife and kids all of the things that we need to survive. That is a lot of pressure to constantly be feeling so it should be expected that more men would experience a feeling of depression right now. I have had to go on Zoloft to help try to relieve some of my own personal anxiety and while I hope that I do not have to stay on it forever it has helped me deal with things a whole lot better than I was before taking it.

  • Debbie

    Debbie

    May 21st, 2009 at 1:14 AM

    I understand why guys dont seek help during a crisis. It’s not the same thing as men not asking directions. My husband is going through job loss right now and he is treating it on the exterior like a bruised knee during soccer. I know that it is troubling him deeply however. I think most guys dont like to whine about their problems to their mates or to kin simply bcos it’s not a guy thing.

  • Kalen

    Kalen

    May 21st, 2009 at 3:46 AM

    Maybe men did this study because as a female I think that there are way more of us having a hard time with the economy junk than the men are. I think we tend to worry more.

  • Ethan

    Ethan

    May 21st, 2009 at 4:11 AM

    When is this econonmy going to get better?!! It is taking a toll on everyone and pretty soon before u know it, everyone is going to have to be taking some kind of meds for depression.

  • Holly

    Holly

    May 22nd, 2009 at 1:52 AM

    I do agree Ethan. Men dont worry till they try other options. I think women tend to worry even when a colleague gets the pink slip imagining everything and just about anything.

  • Hollis

    Hollis

    May 22nd, 2009 at 3:49 AM

    news does not look too good. . . too many foreclosures to make bankers comfortable

  • Ross

    Ross

    May 22nd, 2009 at 7:55 PM

    I think you dont really know guys that well holly. I dont mean to sound offensive but it is a fact. Men do worry a lot too. They dont verbally express it that much though. Possibly why you would find more guys with blood pressure problems.

  • Jerry

    Jerry

    May 23rd, 2009 at 4:33 AM

    In my own personal experience I know that I tend to internalize things a lot more and I think that many men are probably like that. That may be a big reason why people do not think we suffer from depression as much but perhaps that is because we just have a more difficult time talking about it and getting everything out in the open. I agree that women do a much better job at that. But I think that one thhing that men have to realize is that this sort of internalization of our problems is killing us! We are more susceptible to things like stress and high blood pressure and I think that is due in large part to these bad habits of not being able to share with others the things that we are feeling. Sometimes a good talk just to get things out in the open can help almost anyone. I am not saying that it is a cure all but it is a much better start than simply suffering alone.

  • Kelsey

    Kelsey

    May 25th, 2009 at 4:04 AM

    Jerry, some people dont vent their feelings at all. They bottle up. My dad was that way. He was a brooder, prone to spells of rage and depression. I am glad I dont take after him in my mental make-up.

  • Georgia

    Georgia

    May 25th, 2009 at 12:00 PM

    Does anyone know if the rate of prescription anti depressant use has been on the rise during this recession? That would seem very likely to me.

  • Morgan

    Morgan

    May 26th, 2009 at 3:54 AM

    My husband is in a real rut right now because like so many other people he lost his job and does not know what to do with himself. He has had to take a job as a 3rd shift security officer at the hospital just to help us make ends meet but I know this in some ways has only made him feel worse about our situation. I try to tell him that these things do not matter and that he will find a better job soon but I am not sure that is really being reassuring to him at all.

  • Kristi

    Kristi

    May 27th, 2009 at 2:55 AM

    Men feel like they have to support, (understanding) the household therefore bthey become stressed out, depressed when they thngs get out of control or beyond their reach. It’s a good idea for men and women to get the help they need to help them trhu this tough time.

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