One reason that men may suffer less from depression has to do with different coping styles. Men are more likely to employ action and mastery strategies, that is, to involve themselves in activities (work, sports, going out with friends) that both distract them from their worries and, perhaps more importantly, give them a sense of power and control. Women, on the other hand, tend to ‘brood’ and dwell on their problems, often with other women. This is one reason why many therapists prescribe exercise (especially aerobic exercise) as a partial antidote for depression; it gives women an increased sense of self–discipline, control, and mastery.
Also women who have multiple roles (eg., a job, children, a marriage, volunteer work, all at once) may suffer from much less depression. This is because these women have many different support sources and lots of outlets for their competence: if things aren’t going well in one area, they can compensate by feeling satisfied with their successes in other areas.
We all get ‘The blues’ now and then. This kind of mild, infrequent depressive mood often passes quickly, particularly if you employ some reliable strategies to get through them (going out with friends, settling down into a good book, whatever works for you). Sometimes, however, depression can be severe and stronger measures may be called for. If you are experiencing the symptoms that last more than 2–3 days or if they are interfering with your normal life you need professional help.
In its most extreme form, depression can lead to suicide. If you have any thoughts connected to suicide, you should get therapy AT ONCE. If this is the case, it is extremely important that the prescribing physician understand biological differences in ethnic groups because people from different ethnic backgrounds metabolize drugs differently. The dosages may need to be quite.
Warning Signs of Depression
- Depressive mood, feelings of helplessness and pessimism.
- Sleep disturbances–inability to sleep or sleeping too much, irregular sleep patterns.
- Appetite disturbance, eating far less or far more than usual.
- Social withdrawal, refusal to go out, to see friends.
- Blaming yourself for your problems, or feeling that you’re worthless.
- Inability to concentrate, even on routine tasks.
- Substance abuse–alcohol or drugs.
- Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which sometimes occurs after exposure to violence, are similar to those for depression and can also include.
- Nightmares or flashbacks of the terrifying past events.
- Increased aggression, and feelings of uncontrollable anger.
- Emotional numbing.
- Avoidance of the outside world, especially of anything that reminds you of past raumas.
Eating DisordersEating disorders, including anorexia and bulimia, are about 10 times as common in women as in men. Anorexia, in which a person starves oneself to control their weight, leads to death in one in ten cases.
Alcohol has long been considered a sexual stimulant. As far back as 405 BC, Euripides headily wrote, “Without wine, life will not be worth living. Love and every pleasure known to man will soon cease”. The famous bard Shakespeare was cynically known to say that although alcohol “provokes the desire… ” “It takes away the performance”.
Many of us today believe in this ‘Power of alcohol’ to induce or enhance sexual pleasure. A ‘Psychology Today’ survey of 20,000 people, found that roughly 2 out of 3 women and nearly half of the men believed that alcohol enhanced sexual pleasure–but is it really so?