Male depression ’set to increase’

March 2nd, 2011 - 2:50 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Mar 2 (ANI): The rates of depressive disorders among men are likely to increase as the 21st century progresses, say Emory University experts.

“Compared to women, many men attach a great importance to their roles as providers and protectors of their families. Failure to fulfill the role of breadwinner is associated with greater depression and marital conflict,” wrote author Boadie Dunlop.

Research has shown that since the beginning of the recession in 2007, roughly 75 percent of the jobs lost in the United States were held by men. On the other hand, women are increasingly becoming the primary household earners with 22 percent of wives earning more than their husbands in 2007, versus only four percent in 1970.

Unfortunately, there is little reason for anyone to believe that traditional male jobs will return in significant numbers with economic recovery.

Additionally, biological and sociological differences in men and women may make it harder for men to fit into the role of primary care provider to young children than most women.

“Men in the changing economy will face the same risks for depression that women faced in older economies: trapped in a family role from which they cannot escape because of an inability to find employment,” said Dunlop.

Finally, the societal expectancy of men to be tough, stoic and hide their feelings is being significantly eroded. The growing awareness about mental health through education, and hearing prominent male figures talk about their depression, has had a significant impact in opening up the public space for men to validate symptoms of depression.

“The changing socioeconomic positions of the West could lead to prevalence in the rates of depression in men increasing, while rates in women decrease,” warned Dunlop.

The findings were detailed in an editorial published in the British Journal of Psychiatry. (ANI)

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