Depression affects both men and women, but the way the different genders individually experience depression in terms of symptoms and coping skills will often vary. This is due to a few factors, including genetics, the ways the brain processes information, experiences, and societal expectations for men and women.
The separate symptoms add to the challenge of knowing that you may have depression and realizing that you need to take the first step toward getting treatment.
Gendered Symptoms and Coping Mechanisms of Depression
What a person experiences when they have depression is almost always highly individual from person to person, but there are signs that are often more likely to appear in either one gender or the other.
In large part, the symptoms are the same. These symptoms are what depression causes you to feel, including feelings of sadness and emptiness, lack of enjoyment in activities and relationships, and fatigue. But there is a more marked difference in how people of either gender cope with feeling depressed.
Women are more likely to use coping mechanisms that are emotionally focused, which can often make those feelings of sadness or withdrawal the most prevalent indicators of depression in women. Women are also more likely to develop additional mental health conditions at the same time as depression, including an anxiety disorder or eating disorder.
Men are less likely to have emotionally focused coping strategies and the emotions behind depression may be less apparent. Instead, the following coping mechanisms are can be a good indicator of depression in men:
- Increased Risk Taking Behaviors
- Escapist Activities (Such as Video Games or Pornography)
- Increased Physical Health Problems
- Substance Use or Alcoholism
These coping mechanisms can help men deal with the feelings and symptoms of depression, often in ways that seem more socially acceptable since there is still a stigma associated with the feelings of sadness or hopelessness that go along with depression in men.
But these coping mechanisms, whether they occur in men or women, do nothing to help with an underlying clinical depression disorder. For that, the best solution is to work with a psychiatrist in Dallas who can provide effective medication and treatment for depression in both men and women. If you have noticed yourself experiencing any of the symptoms or coping mechanisms of depression, reach out to Aware Behavioral Health for help with depression in Dallas.