1. 1 Analyse why men are more likely to describe the physical symptoms of depression, rather than the emotional ones, when seeking treatment. Men are more likely to commit suicide because their reluctance to seek help e. g. on average, men go to their GP half as often as women.
Approximately 3 million men are affected and the figure rises after the age of 70. Men of all ages, ethnic origins and walks of life get depressed but men generally describe the physical symptoms of depression, such as feeling tired, losing weight, become irritable, feeling anger rather than acknowledging the emotional feeling symptoms such as feeling sad, worthless, empty, and hopeless, when seeking treatment.
Many men do not recognize and seem to lack the understanding of depression; they do not acknowledge the emotional symptoms of depression as they think it is associated with women. Perhaps this is part of the male image of self-reliance of take charge and coping with everything. They may feel weak or ashamed to admit the emotional feeling symptoms – that it is not “manly” to feel sad.
Traditionally men are supposed to be the stronger sex, have control of their emotions, not to show their emotions e. g. grown men do not cry. A man has either now or during their youth, heard these comments “be a man”, “real men do not cry,” “do not be a wimp” which lessen men to admit to feeling depressed.
Many men tend to suffer depression in silence because of the misconceptions and stigma of this medical condition and do not get treatment because of the shame associated with admitting they have depression e. g. moral failing or sign of a weak character. “92% of Britons believe admitting mental illness harms career” We must protect employees and job hunters with mental health problems from employers who are prejudiced about their ability to work, says Mohini Bharania. Bharania M.,Guardian. co. uk, 2009.
Whether you work in the city, are on the minimum wage, or are the Prime Minister, when it comes to mental health, it is difficult to rebut prejudice about your ability to do the job. The presumption being that you cannot. Time to Change revealed that a shocking 92% of the British public believes that admitting to having a mental illness would damage someone’s career; and that 56% of those questioned would not employ an individual, even if they were the best candidate, if they had a history of mental illness.
As men are mainly the main providers in a family, it is no wonder they feel discouraged to admitting to the emotional symptoms, when seeking treatment. Men generally do not talk about their feelings, women talk about their feelings to their friends.
Men do not have that support, or if and when men do go to the doctors for professional help, they generally have short consultations and it is later in the course of the illness, and there is a tendency of not addressing significant health issues, as men are inclined to use unhelpful coping mechanisms such as increased drinking, working late and staying out rather than going home, which masks the depression and makes things worse.
This makes it hard for the doctors to diagnose. 1. 2 Analyse why women are twice as likely to suffer with depression. Depression is more common with women and they are twice as likely to suffer with depression as men and this difference persists across racial, ethnic and economic divides. Women go through more hormonal changes than men which causes depression e. g. premenstrual problems (PMS), pregnancy and infertility, postpartum (baby blues), pre menopause and menopause.
Women tend to show their feelings more e. g. crying to relieve emotional tension, talk to friends regarding their feelings and try to work out why they feel depressed which sometimes is helpful but in some situations this can maintain depression and even make it worse. (Psychological depression – focusing on and rehashing negative feelings).
Womens’ lives and roles (jobs, childcare, caring for elderly parents, domestic work) tend to be hectic and more stressful than mens’ lives which can lead to depression. Women produce more stress hormones than men do, and the female sex hormone progesterone prevents stress hormone system from turning itself off as it does in men. There is a lot of pressure on women regarding body image from the media (newspapers, magazines, and television) and their peers to look a certain way “size zero” and having the latest fashion (financial). Women who are dissatisfied with their bodies could develop depression which generally starts as early as puberty.
1. 3 Analyse why depression often carries a lot of social stigma. Depression is not an everyday topic of discussion, it is taboo, it must not be discussed, it is like cancer was years ago. As social stigma stems from the lack of knowledge of depression e. g. the fear of the perception of others by the sufferer and for the people around them e. g. family, friends, co-workers and employers whom have known them for years may view the sufferer differently if they become aware of what the sufferer is dealing with. Society needs to be taught that mental illness is no different than physical illness the symptoms just happen to show up differently.
The social stigma of depression can add to the feeling of inadequacy that already plagues the depressive making them more inadequate, alone and unloved than ever. Dealing with other people’s perception of depression that has no experience of depression e. g. they may be ignorant, unsympathetic and intolerant of the condition, as it is considered to be a mental illness.
This makes life difficult for a person suffering from depression. Many people do not know how to behave around those who suffers from depression, fear of upsetting them. People assume that anyone with a mental illness is potentially dangerous, turning violet at any moment and so they are afraid, so they try to dissociate themselves from the depressed person, which in the long run this can be more detrimental to that person, as they will feel alone and isolated.
When sufferers apply for a job, some do not put down their medical problems as it can jeopardise their chances of getting the job as employers regard them not able to carry out work efficiently as other candidates can, because of episodes of the depression. Employers are reluctant to hire someone who suffers from depression because most health insurance plans are grossly inadequate for the depression sufferer. The social stigma of depression in the education environment is hard to comprehend as teachers/lectures etc. may treat the sufferer differently and not give equal opportunities to them as their peers.
Teachers/lectures may expect less from the sufferer and so not see their true potential. 1. 4 Describe the principal factors which could contribute towards a child developing depression. The principal factors of the exact cause of why a child develop depression is not known but research suggests that a combination of factors, including heredity, biology, psychological trauma, and environmental stress, may be involved. For example. Heredity (genetics and family tendencies):
Mental illness tends to run in families, which means the likelihood to develop a mental disorder may be passed on from parents to their children. Biology: Some mental disorders have been linked to special chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters help nerve cells in the brain communicate with each other. If these chemicals are out of balance or not working properly, messages may not make it through the brain correctly, leading to symptoms. In addition, defects in or injury to certain areas of the brain also have been linked to some mental illnesses.
Psychological trauma: Some mental illnesses may be triggered by psychological trauma, such as severe emotional, physical, or sexual abuse; an important early loss, such as the loss of a parent; and neglect. Environmental stress: Stressful or traumatic events can trigger a mental illness in a person with a vulnerability to a mental disorder.
There are many different events and environments that come under the above principal factors that are particularly stressful which could trigger depression in children. Here are some examples; Death of a parent, sibling or some close. An abusive parent or member of the family. A move to a new area and new school Breaking up with boyfriend/girlfriend, Friendship problems. Chronic illness, although some studies suggest that children are less likely than adults to be depressed about their illness or they are looking after someone with chronic illness. Divorce or separation of parents.
Parents arguing Feeling rejected or left out within the family. Problems at school – exam pressure, being bullied and not fitting in. Poverty or homelessness Parental conflict – assert their independence, where they fit in life etc. During puberty particularly for girl.
Psychologists suggest that one reason girls may become more vulnerable than boys, is the high incidence of sexual abuse and more vulnerable to depression for a variety of reasons to the status of women in our society. E. g. studies have found that, while boys tend to be pleased with the physical changes puberty brings, girls are more likely to be disturbed by the changes their bodies undergo.
There is a lot of discussion in the professional camp about whether children who are inherently shy or withdrawn are predisposed to depression. But most resilient children may become depressed if they are “taught” to be – if they have parents who are clinically depressed, if they are emotionally neglected or abused, if they are raised in an environment in which they do not get enough positive feedback or nurturing from adults. In a study of children who were hospitalized for major depression disorder or a suicide attempt concluded that their depressive symptoms improved as result of being removed from their home environments.