Is anger from men attractive to women
Men and Depression: More Anger Than Sadness
Professor Möller-Leimkühler, why is depression still wrongly considered a typical women's disease?
Möller glue cooler: Studies show that women are two to three times more likely than men to be diagnosed with "depression". Behind this are historical ideas that go back to the 19th century: women were considered the weak, sick sex in contrast to the strong, healthy man. Much has changed thanks to the emancipation of women, but conventional symptoms of depression, for example, are still associated with supposedly typically female characteristics: sadness, depressed mood, lack of drive and interest.
Is the disease often simply not recognized in men?
Möller glue cooler: Yes, because men do not report the symptoms mentioned as often as women. They interpret them as weakness and failure - which does not fit their self-image and social role expectations. In addition, the gender stereotype is still firmly anchored in the minds of many doctors. In addition, men usually have less access to their feelings than women and are less able to talk about them.
So are men depressed differently?
Möller glue cooler: They deal with depressive feelings differently and show more acting behaviors. For example, peaceful types suddenly become aggressive and have tantrums. Or they develop addiction-like behavior and rush into work, work overtime, and hang in front of the computer all the time. Some try to relax with excessive sex - which cannot be achieved any more than self-medication with too much alcohol. The reward system always wants more, it can also be extreme sport. I knew a patient who raced 300 kilometers around the Chiemsee on his racing bike every day, and in the shortest possible time. It didn't help him either.
How can outsiders tell whether such behavior is indicative of depression?
Möller glue cooler: Depressed men often withdraw from family and friends, are closed, irritable and aggressive and blame others for their own feelings. They can also be very sensitive to criticism.
How can affected men be persuaded to see a doctor?
Möller glue cooler: Men often only accept medical help if they are already suffering from severe symptoms or the woman is threatened with divorce. To get them to seek medical advice sooner, relatives shouldn't give good advice or talk about depression. In many cases, it's better to talk about stress, burnout, and possible side effects. These consequences include, for example, that the autonomic nervous system gets out of balance, the stress hormone level is constantly too high and finally the immune system derails. You can no longer relax, sleep badly. In the long run it can lead to depression. There are now well-known role models such as the exceptional footballer Sebastian Deisler, who repeatedly struggled with depression and gave up football. The subject is no longer as taboo as it used to be. Information about depression is important in breaking down prejudice. Little do many men realize that depression is potentially fatal and more common than cardiovascular disease.
What can a therapy look like?
Möller glue cooler: Psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, is just as effective as it is in women. However, this is not attractive for many men because they prefer to "do" rather than "chat". In psychotherapy, however, more typical problem situations for men should be addressed.
What are the persistence strategies for the treatment and what success can be expected?
Möller glue cooler: Anyone who expects everything to go quickly is in their own way, because treatment is not a car repair. And any fears about antidepressants have to be reduced, because these drugs clear up the biochemical chaos in the brain without making them dependent.
What do partners have to consider?
Möller glue cooler: With all due consideration for the person concerned, they must take good care of their own needs in order not to fall into the role of victim.
What are the consequences if those affected do not receive therapy?
Möller glue cooler: If the depression becomes chronic, it can be treated worse and worse. Depression is the leading cause of incapacity for work and early retirement today. The resulting social and economic decline also leads to family difficulties and social isolation. In many cases, there are also secondary diseases such as alcohol addiction, heart attacks and strokes or diabetes - with an overall increase in mortality. In addition, the risk of suicide skyrockets if the depression is not recognized and treated.
Thank you for the interview!
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