Table of Contents
The community has mixed the feelings on depression and its victims. These feelings range from acceptance to stigmatization (Chan, 2009). Depression is not an intended disorder on the victims, but it is a result of other factors in life. Stigma is a reproach that is directed towards a particular thing or a situation. Stigma is usually focused on the things that other people find frightening or abnormal (Aguirre, 2008). Stigmatization is fatal to victims; it creates a feeling of inferiority and the lack of purpose. Through stigmatization, victims are marginalized and despised.
Depression is a feeling of hopelessness that tends to question the need to live. Depression is a result of the continued stress in life due to some difficulties and problems (Berne, 2007). The message in this condition is that of feeling adrift and not able to find a solid ground that encourages hope for a better tomorrow. Depression is fatal when unattended to as it can lead to suicide or some poor health conditions. Mental health is crucial towards a positive contribution in the society. Depression is a condition of mind where a victim suffers from anxiety and stress (Amen, 2003). This disorder is characterized by the actions which are fatal and show the mental instability (Amen, 2003). For instance, the victim of serious depression can decide to commit a suicide or even risk the safety of others.
This mental disorder is concluded by doctors to be caused through the environment, biological factors or genetics (Chan, 2009). The specific stimulation of these agents on depression is inconclusive. It is crucial to note that these agents all contribute towards depression as a mental disorder. Doctors and researchers have not achieved the right contributive proportions of these agents on depression.
Men may hold a stigma over depression in the society because of various reasons. This review on the literature concerning depression assesses a possible cause of this stigma in both men and women. This paper looks at some reasons as to why men hold the stigma over depression. The paper struggles to address this problem through the analysis of previous studies on the subject and suggestions on solutions. Another method of data collection is through interviews. This process is done for the victims of the mental disorder and without any problems. This paper uses the secondary data in the analysis on the subject matter. The information used needs to be reliable and practical so as to give a comprehensive basis for this subject.
Gender Differences and Mental Health
Men and women do not respond to the mental illness in the same way. This is possible because of nature of these genders. The mind is a delicate organ which carries out many functions in the body that influence on everyday activities of humans (Aguirre, 2008). It is a threshold of mind to cope with the pressure that determines the possibility and likelihood of the mental illness. According to the research done by top psychiatrists on American citizens, the female gender is more likely to be affected by the mental illness than their male counterparts. These illnesses are trauma and depression among others. It is confirmed that the nature of women to conceal their emotions and anxieties has made them more prone to mental disorders than men (Chan, 2009). They tend to hide their deep emotions on many things, thus, the mind becomes overworked as they are troubled. The onset of mental illnesses is not immediate, but it takes some time to reach hazardous levels.
Men tend to express their problems more in various ways as compared to women. This research study on America suggests that men in the process of letting out their emotions have reduced the chances of acquiring the mental instability (Fischer, 2000). Expressing their emotions through different approaches reduces the pressure on their minds.
Gender Differences and Depression
The studies conducted on the relationship between gender and depressions have shown that there is a significant difference. One study carried out by analysts on males and females with depression in Washington has showed that women are more prone to depression and anxiety while men are prone to develop some antisocial and substance abuse problems (Fischer, 2000).
Women (with anxiety) were seen to have a likelihood of internalizing their emotions; thus, they have become lonely, with the depression and withdrawal (Berne, 2007). Men, on the other hand, externalize their emotions, hence, reducing any chance of depression. They end up becoming coercive, aggressive and having the behavior being not compliant (Andrews, 2010). It is this difference, in the way men and women respond to anxiety and emotions that accounts for the differences in gender and depression. Women, unlike men, ruminate more frequently and focus the better part of their life on their problems and negative aspects instead of finding some solutions (Fischer, 2000).
Psychiatrists based in Europe argue that a woman tends to project a lot of dissatisfactions and complains before becoming a victim of depression (Fischer, 2000). India shows similar results for the same research. This is an early mark of the stressful experience which doctors note in the early treatment. An early diagnosis of stress and anxiety is easily treated by doctors through the continued therapy and assessment (Berne, 2007). This is important because the patients do not reach a critical point that might threaten their life.
This research has showed that some environmental factors contribute towards the mental disorder. These factors tend to push a condition from mild to critical for those individuals who do not notice the problem or ignore any medical care. These environmental factors include the pressure from work, household problems or even discontent (Casey, 2000).
Stigma and Depression
It is common for many communities to stigmatize depression. This mental disorder is looked at in different ways by people. It is their perceptions that triggers stigma on depression and its victims.
The reason for depression in the society is the culture that the community has while viewing the state of victims as vulnerable, thus, unaccepted and weak (Frank, 2000). The fear of exposing emotions in public by both men and women is a huge factor in depression. For instance, some people are taught to hide their feelings and never portray vulnerability through such actions like crying or complaining. This action leads them to lose control and touch with their feelings, thus, the mental instability (Frank, 2000).
A large number of people are ignorant. Little or no facts are possessed by the society on mental illness. Some individuals consider this illness as contagious, thus, avoiding its victims due to fear of contracting it through any association. Stigmatizing victims of depression has affected the community interactions in many regions around the world (Frank, 2000). For instance, after realizing that an individual suffers from depression, his or her friends might avoid associating with them in fear of getting the illness. This is an act of complete ignorance as depression cannot be spread through associating with its victims (unlike such infections as flu) (Peacock, 2000). The society’s reaction to mental health issues ranges from acceptance to discrimination.
This stigma is even common among doctors. Some professional psychiatrists and doctors look at depression as a punishment for poor moral standards (Routh, 2003). This misleading perception leaves many patients unattended as the doctors opt to ignore treating them. This is demeaning for their self-value as the victims consider themselves as outcasts and unwanted by the society. Life threatening actions that are done by these victims are a result of the lack of support even by those who ought to help them.
Stigma and Gender
Gender influences on the stigma associated with depression and the mental illness. This is to say that stigma does run with the similarity when looking at gender. The research conducted on the differences in stigma for male and female victims has showed that male victims are more affected by stigma than women (O'Donohue, 2009).
Men are perceived by the society as emotionally stronger than women (Chronister, 2009). It, therefore, seems weak for men to come out and accept the condition or seek for the medical attention. The fear of being considered as emotionally weak leads them to avert help. Men were noted to have pride in maintaining their reputation and any association with the mental instability that had denied them from that (Sutton, 2012). It is this status quo that affects their mental health, which continues to deteriorate with some time. For example, a manager in a famous firm would find it difficult and unfavorable for their profession if somebody becomes a victim to depression. The manager would rather hide the status in favor of a job.
Women, on the other hand, do not face any stigma on the levels that men do. They have a bias in the society, where they are viewed as a weaker party. This allows them to have an ease while struggling with mental disorders (O'Donohue, 2009). Traditionally, women in the society have a little community recognition (Andrews, 2010). Consider a situation where both a man and a woman are being depressed in a family, then the stigma attached to the woman is not similar to that of the man. When the man (who is a breadwinner in the family) becomes depressed, he is unable to perform his duties, thus, stop working. This situation affects the man’s perceptions by others and his self-worth reduces (Sutton, 2012). He feels useless and non-beneficial to the family.