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Depression in Men
Over four million men in the United States suffer from depression. Men are less likely have depressive disorders than women and since they don't always admit to depression, a physician may not suspect it as a problem. The rate of suicide in men is four times that of women, even though more women attempt it. In fact, after age seventy, the rate of men's suicide rises, reaching a peak after age eighty-five.
Depression can also affect the physical health in men differently from women. A new study shows that, although depression is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease in both men and women, only men suffer a high death rate.
Men's depression is often masked by alcohol or drugs, or by the socially acceptable habit of working excessively long hours. Depression typically shows up in men not as feeling hopeless and helpless, but as being irritable, angry, and discouraged; hence, depression may be difficult to recognize as such in men. Even if a man realizes that he is depressed, he may be less willing than a woman to seek help. Encouragement and support from concerned family members can make a difference. In the workplace, employee assistance professionals or worksite mental health programs can be of assistance in helping men understand and accept depression as a real illness that needs treatment.
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