Depression: Men Get Depression Too

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Seeking Help For Depression

BY AMANDA HALE

1 in 8 men will have depression and 1 in 5 will experience anxiety at some point in their lives. These stats might not be as high as in women, but fewer men than women talk about their anxiety or depression, and far fewer men seek help. And therein lies the problem.

80% of suicides in Australia each year are by men – with an average of 5 men taking their lives every single day. Suicide is the leading cause of death for men under the age of 44, significantly exceeding the national road toll.

Why do we treat mental illness differently?

Why do we treat mental illness differently?

So why don’t men seek help? The most obvious explanation is a cultural one. Australian men seem to think that they should be able to handle any problem themselves, including their mental health.

But depression and anxiety aren’t any different from any other medical illnesses. They can’t be cured by snapping out of it or by pulling it together, and they definitely aren’t a sign of weakness. Would you consider seeking guidance from a doctor when you have cancer weak? Probably not. Seeking help for depression or anxiety is no different.

Beyond Blue have recently released a new website that addresses the mental health and help-seeking behaviour of Australian men – www.mantherapy.org.au. It’s a great site. Have a look yourself or pass the information on to the men in your life.

Taking action may not be as hard as you think.

Amanda Hale is a registered psychologist and a Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) Candidate at the Australian National University. She enjoys working with children, adolescents and adults, and specialises in anxiety, depression, eating disorders, weight management and interpersonal and adjustment difficulties.