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Men and Women React Differently to Depression

Discussion in 'News, Politics & Debates' started by anthony, Oct 3, 2006.

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  1. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

    More than 19 million Americans suffer from depression yearly and women are twice as likely as men to experience a major depressive episode. Depression may occur at any age during a woman’s life with certain events like puberty, pregnancy, perimenopause, trauma, substance abuse and quality of relationships increasing the risk.

    One of the most interesting experiments on gender differences in depression was conducted by J. Douglas Bremner, M.D., director of mental health research at the Atlanta Veterans Administration Medical Center and author of the book, Does Stress Damage the Brain? He gathered a group of former depression patients. With their permission, he gave them a beverage that was spiked with an amino acid that blocks the brain’s ability to absorb serotonin, the neurotransmitter that allows us to feel upbeat and happy.

    The results showed specific differences in the way men and women reacted to their sudden feeling of depression. The male subjects typically expressed no feeling but wanted to escape to a bar. In contrast, female subjects were more likely to cry and express their feeling of sadness.

    Although most depressed men tend to “act out” their unhappiness through anger or alcohol, around 10% are prone to “acting in.” They think, ruminate, and feel sad. Most depressed women tend to “act in” their unhappiness, about 10% of them use the more traditional male style of acting out.

    Source: Psych Central
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