Men: Depression Is OK

Published Online: Thursday, May 1, 2003

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has launched the ?Real Men, Real Depression? campaign, the first national campaign to raise awareness that men suffer from depression and to encourage depressed men to seek help. In a series of television, radio, and print public service announcements, men tell their personal stories about living with depression.

Each year ~6 million men are diagnosed with clinical depression, but research indicates that men are less likely to recognize the symptoms and seek treatment, compared with women. Studies have shown that depression affects nearly twice as many women as men, but the genders respond differently to the disorder. Whereas women are more apt to talk about the symptoms and get help, men oftentimes do not. Men may overlook the common symptoms of depression, such as irritability and sleep problems. Also, depressed men are more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol, and some men ?throw themselves? into their work or hobbies, in an attempt to hide their feelings from themselves and others, according to the NIMH.

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