While the volumes of literature on the impact of depression and how it is processed across gender are many, none has focused on the way men process depression. This paper proposes that men process depression in very ad hoc and untellable ways as compared to women and then men either Antagonizing or Blaming Others, is content with themselves. Seek Stimulation and or use scapegoats or avoid depression. It also proposes that t men process depression differently across cultures and makes a cross-cultural analysis to determine the influence of culture on how men process depression. A Meta-analysis was conducted to determine the bottom line of the study. A conclusive result was reached at that given the assumption of the study a new directions
Keywords: gender, depression, processing, culture, longitudinal, etc
The prevalence of depression in contemporary society appears to be on the increase. Some scholars posit that depression may indicate a symptom of contemporary times, which are typified by alienation bleak economic situations, and the absence of strong familial attachments. It is not known certainly whether depression affects women and men differently. In general, as both genders regularly operate in dissimilar social contexts, the two have a propensity to develop dissimilar emotional dispositions as well as, personality traits. For that reason, their responses, as well as coping mechanisms to depressing situations, may vary. Owing to the socialization patterns prevalent in modern society, male depression assumes a different look (Rowan, 2009). This paper posits to investigate how men process depression in different ways than women and whether there are different symptom presentations in men.
Overview of Depression in Men
It is evident that men do all they can in order to evade appearing vulnerable, indecisive, or weak. Whereas women have a tendency to process or think through their feelings in the event that they experience depression, men have a propensity to take action. Depressed men usually do not confess to feeling miserable, although they might feel irritable or fatigued. They usually do not have a name for their emotions, but they recognize they sense deadened inside. As a result, they fall back on activities with the aim of distracting themselves from their depressing feelings. Occasionally these activities may be adaptive, such as looking for a job if he is without a job. However, in other occasions men may distract themselves in negative ways, such as avoidance, acting out, or denial. They are unenthusiastic to assume responsibility for their underlying sense of depression, which they do not admit to, or name (Paulson & Bazemore, 2010).
Even if the correlation between women and depression is stronger than that of men, the incidence of depression in men is widespread. The problem is that the majority of men do not search for assistance in case of depressive disorders as women do. Men are also much less keen to speak concerning their misery than women are. Secondly, men do not respond in the same manner as women do in the event of depression. When women are depressed, they tend to feel worthless, tender, and hopeless. Men in contrast have a propensity to feel irritated, whereby they may work excessively and more often than not behave aggressively (Rollock, 2009).
How Men Process Depression
Antagonizing and Blaming Others
Men in depression shield against their feelings of depression at all costs and consequently lead them down the path of fault finding in other for his misery. Men dread living with their sense of dysphoria and know that at a certain level; they cannot accommodate any more experiences. This makes men feel increasingly worse about themselves or increasingly hopeless concerning the future. Consequently, to defend against these circumstances, men go on the offense (Gilbert, 2010).
The major target of this blaming conduct is their family, the ones they are closest to, even though others might bear the blame too. Men generate conflict with others apparently unexpectedly although they may as well meditate over a matter and bring it up repeatedly with no resolution. Relationships might be sorely attempted during this stage of a man’s depression, and yet bring about domestic violence. For the period of the conflict men, might sense a feeling of authority and give their own feeling of misery a source as well as a name. An identifiable and tangible target is easier to handle than the edgy feeling of emptiness that they may harbor inside. The negative aspect of attacking other people, however, is that men end up feeling increasingly isolated and alienated as depression intensifies (Rollock, 2009).
Discontent with Himself
A man coping with depression might express intense discontent with himself, his achievements in life, as well as his ability to manage the issues of daily life. The man may adopt a negative way of framing his experiences in life. A man might feel that he has failed to see opportunities experienced by other people and that he may have failed as a provider and protector. He perceives life as a half-empty glass and has trouble in rewarding himself for his realistic accomplishments in life. He might find it demanding to view his setbacks as simply temporary or as a chance to rise above his unpleasant experiences. To a man, failure is a cause of immense shame. When shame dominates the life of a person, the depressing thought process is inflated. This brings about defensiveness, rage, self-destructive conduct like substance abuse. The man may probably decline to recognize the fundamental predicament as depression since that too might be a cause of shame. Regrettably, he might more effectively deal with his depression by exploring it directly instead of taking up self-blame and avoiding investigating the true cause of his misery (Gilbert, 2010).
Depression implies intimidation to a man’s customary sense of masculinity. The man feels vulnerable, weak, and not capable of being decisive, and this is offensive to him. Consequently, a man might turn to inflated hyper-masculine conduct to deal with his inner apprehension of appearing helpless. A man hates feeling unproductive, so he adopts exceedingly stimulating experiences to persuade himself that he is powerful and vital. Consequently, many depressed men may seek places to express rage, participate in substance abuse, and search for sexual stimulation (Frosh, 2009).
While in depression, a number of men may excessively drink alcohol because it provides them a fleeting experience of security, a way to flee the feared deadened sense of depression. In the same way, they might abuse marijuana or other stimulating drugs, for instance, methamphetamine or cocaine. Unfortunately, alcohol, as well as other drugs, gives a momentary sense of euphoria and flight from depression. Since it feels good, a man might go back to it frequently consequently establishing an addictive pattern. Anger presents a similar sense of stimulus, not only psychologically but also neuro-chemically. Men allege a sense of authority as well as being alive throughout the adrenaline rush connected with fiery rage. Sexual experiences might as well present a comparable rush. Nevertheless, the result is at all times the same, the temporary sense of security does not cure the underlying depression. In reality, it distracts the man from engaging in conduct that will deal with depression in a permanent and healthier way (Gilbert, 2010).
Escaping and Avoiding
When men feel awful, it is customary to try to seek a method of escaping from the depressing experience. Nevertheless, depression may be dealt with therapeutically, and to avoid addressing it leads to perpetuating it. Men while in depression employ an infinite variety of escape and avoidance conduct, anything to pass the time in order that they may not have to experience the empty feeling of depression. For instance, a depressed man might dissociate himself from a situation for an extended duration of time. He might spend long hours reading, online, watching TV, or He might drink excessively or abuse drugs. He might have a string of sexual affairs. However, there are healthier tactics for coping with depression (Frosh, 2009).
Social and Cultural Influences in Male Depression
The depression sociology embraces the cultural contexts in which people survive and the social stressors that individuals experience as a component of life. The sociological characteristics of depression are influenced by and manipulate other biological as well as psychological characteristics of people’s lives. In the past, it was perceived that depression principally plagued persons in developed Western countries and that non-American-Euro cultures did not experience this disorder. On the other hand, ethnomedical studies propose that this opinion might have more to do with cultural opinions of what symptoms are tagged as a depressive disorder, how incidences of depression are documented for statistical functions, and how depression is perceived in particular cultures. For instance, in India, an extensive array of distress disorders are classified as depressive disorders, while in Japan, the notion of mental illness is deplorable and few men would confess to having it. Even in the U.S, incidence rates of depression might be influenced by cultural contexts (Gilbert, 2010).
Several cultures have inflexible gender roles that characterize anticipated behavior. Men’s roles exist principally outside the house, while the roles of women are explicitly in the home. In such cultures, women might not leave their homes except when accompanied by a male member of the family. Equally, men by no means go into the kitchen. If a man from this kind of culture experiences a social stressor which compels an alteration in roles or a dispute to the status quo, such stress may cause the man to develop into depression. For example, in the event that a husband from a society with inflexible gender roles loses a spouse, he might not discern how to take care of his children’s daily needs for instance feeding, or bathing (Rollock, 2009).
Cultural identity frequently influences the extent to which an individual demonstrates somatic symptoms of depression. This means that some cultures may be contented reporting symptoms of depression that are somatic in character rather than mental. For instance, many depressed Chinese men complain of physical discomfort, feelings of internal pressure, as well as symptoms of dizziness, fatigue, and pain. Likewise, depressed Japanese men habitually complain of headache, neck, and abdominal pain symptoms. Even in Western nations where depressive disorders are increasingly acceptable, scholars have hypothesized that a number of chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic pain, chronic exhaustion syndrome, may be somatic types of mood disorders than real physical problems (Frosh, 2009).
Cultural disparities in help-seeking conduct may manipulate depression treatment. For instance, non-Western men frequently utilize indigenous practitioners for the treatment of complaints and Western-educated doctors for treating disease. If emotional troubles are not regarded as within the sphere of disease, depressed men may not readily look for mental health or psychiatric care for symptoms of depression. Since the public discourse concerning depression is increasingly widespread in Western societies, it is increasingly socially tolerable to suffer depression, and more men are willing to ask for help. On the contrary, mental illness is regularly increasingly stigmatized in other societies (Gilbert, 2010).
Meta-analysis, quantitative and qualitative studies
While the meta-analysis was generalizable over a large population, the actual Meta-analysis may not be effective in the prediction of the result of a single study; therefore, it was imperative to conduct another study. It is also advisable to note the sources of bias in the study were not easy to control in the meta-analysis. This might have affected the results and direction of the study. However, the best evidence meta-analysis was used to correct the inherent weakness of meta-analysis. The methodological selection criteria could have introduced the unwanted subjectivity that weakened the purpose of the study. On the other hand, the qualitative analysis in the study was useful for providing a clear picture of the dispiriting in the cultural influences of depression and the behavioral disparity of the depression processing across gender, however, it was not effective as the results from the quantitative study could not be gene raised. Generally, the results produced by the quantitative study were very realistic and could be used to developed theory inductively unlike the qualitative study. However, all the three studies were important in arriving at the desired conclusion as the weaknesses of one method were compensated by the other methods?
Ethnomedical research proposes that cultural disparities in placing much focus on oneself as well as one’s place in social hierarchies are associated with the incidence of depression. Men should understand that depression does not denote that one is feeble or that one is untreatable or fanatical, but that one is experiencing a problem that needs to be dealt with prior to causing further damage. This hidden depression is fundamentally a disorder of self-value and self-esteem. Healthy self-value is fundamentally internal. It is the capability to value oneself not owing to what one possess or has the ability to do.
Frosh, S. (2009). Masculine Ideology & Psychological Therapy. New York: Routledge Press.
Gilbert, R. (2010). Depression: Evolution of Hopelessness. New York, Guilford.
Paulson, J, & Bazemore, S. (2010). Prenatal and Postpartum Depression in Fathers and Its Association With Maternal Depression: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of the American Medical Association. 19; 303(19):1961-9.
Rowan, J. (2009). Treating the Male Psyche. New York: Routledge Press.
Rollock, T. (2009). The Role of Contextual Differences, Gender, Ethnicity, Emotional Content, in Expressive, Physiological & Self-Reported Emotional Reactions to Imagery. Emotion & Cognition, 15, 16–19.
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