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Men and depression: An invisible phenomenon

15 December 1995


The prevalence rate of depression has repeatedly indicated twice as many women as men present for treatment of depression and/or respond positively to community surveys asking about the presence of depressive symptoms. In an extensive review of the literature, there is found significant evidence which challenges this ratio and shows that this ratio is less robust than supposed. This evidence shows that the ratio is equivalent or even weighted more heavily in the direction of men having higher prevalence rates of depression. Further, the 2:1 ratio potentially carries the risk of women being seen as essentially more vulnerable to depression. This dissertation provides strong evidence challenging this assumption by showing, for example, that when academic and vocational status is equal between men and women, prevalence rates of depression also tend to be equal. This is an important finding because as traditional gender roles are challenged, and both men and women take on roles previously seen as the other's domain, it is likely that prevalence rates will continue to change as they already have with women tending to approach men in the numbers of women choosing more lethal methods of suicide.


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