Is depression sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness?
New research says it can be a combination of these symptoms, and how you experience depression may depend on if you’re a man or a woman.
Traditionally, depression’s symptoms have been characterized as anger turned inward, a shutting down and closing in.
Researchers developing new checklists for depression expanded the list of behaviors associated with of depression in order to help diagnose depression more accurately, especially among men. And, among men, depression looks different. It can involve anger turned outward.
What’s interesting about this research?
What’s important to remember?
As much as I’m excited about this new research, I’m cautious about putting people into boxes. Gender isn’t simple, as much as our culture tries to make it so. Depression isn’t simple either.
Thinking about the possibilities uncovered by this research, I balance optimism about the development of new tools to diagnose depression, curiosity about what it is about gender (biology? socialization?) that might make the experience of depression different, and hope that future research will build on one the unanswered questions of this research team: Is it masculinity and femininity that influence depression, rather than sex or gender?