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Depression in Men:
KRON 4 News with Rob Black, February 5, 2007

Dr. Greg Ketchum, March 5, 2007

What is Depression?

Newsweek recently ran a cover story on depression in men which they called a “hidden epidemic of despair that is destroying marriages, disrupting careers, filling jail cells, clogging emergency rooms and costing society billions of dollars in lost productivity and medical bills.” In fact, it’s estimated that adult depression results in $83 billion a year in lost productivity.

What Do You Need to Know About Depression:

Let’s start with some fundamentals regarding depression in men:

  • 6 million American men will be diagnosed with depression this year, but millions more will go undiagnosed.
  • The major symptoms of depression in men may be irritability, short-temperedness, and obsessive thinking and not depressed mood.
  • Most men fail to recognize the symptoms and may mask them with alcohol, drugs, anger or becoming workaholics.
  • Depression is linked to heart disease, heart attacks & stroke, and strike men at an earlier age and higher rate than women. Men with depression and any of these conditions are two to three times more likely to die then men with these conditions who are not depressed.

More Important Facts About Depression:

  • Depression is a medical condition and not the result of “mental illness” nor is it a sign of weakness of character.
  • A major misconception about depression is that most people think of it only in terms of a major depression the “can’t get out of bed, feeling overwhelmingly depressed” type, when there is a whole range of types.
  • Depression in men is can be difficult to diagnose due to:
    • Irritability in men is usually viewed as a character flaw.
    • Men are often reluctant to admit to feelings let alone talk about them.
    • The “strong silent type” is a model that many men emulate.
    • It’s usually the “fed-up” wife that gets a man into treatment.

What can you do?

If any of these symptoms sound familiar for you or someone you love here are some steps you can take:

  • Primary Care Physician: Go see your primary care physician and tell them you think you might be depressed and discuss it.
  • Screening Test: There is a very effective and simple screening test you can take privately online from home along with other information on depression. Go to… http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17190411/site/newsweek

®2007 All rights reserved. Gregory A. Ketchum, Ph.D.

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