Men’s health awareness month: Many experts say men’s depression is underdiagnosed

Content warning: depression and suicide
Published: Nov. 7, 2021 at 1:42 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - November is men’s health month, one issue that heavily impacts men is depression and suicide.

Even though women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression, many therapists say that doesn’t mean women are more likely to be depressed.

They believe men are getting it the same rate, they’re just not getting diagnosed because they’re not seeking help. There are no known biological factors to make women more likely to be depressed.

They say toxic masculinity is a huge barrier. That means society teaches men to value qualities, like stoicism, isolation and trying to control emotions rather than feel and regulate them. That means they’re not just not reaching out to mental health professionals, they’re also not sharing their feelings with friends or loved ones either.

Local Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker Lisa Lapidus agrees. She says a lot of times men can stuff their feelings down. She says that can lead to substance abuse or suicide.

Men die from suicide almost four times more often them women. The population at the highest risk all men over 85 and gay men under 25. When it comes to teens, transgender boys are most likely to attempt suicide. “Isolation is one of the biggest factors in depression and when you feel isolated the depression rises a lot of young men when they try to come out, young women too actually, fear being thrown out of their family and their community and becoming isolated.”

Turning from toxic masculinity to health masculinity is part of the solution. Lapidus says regulating emotions, connecting with friends and reaching out to a professional can really help.

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