Factors That May Influence The Causes Of Major Depression?

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Major depression is, in many ways, still a mystery.  Experts are not sure what causes it or why some people are more vulnerable than others.

Due to the terrible nature of this condition, new solutions are constantly being sought and tested.  There are many interesting facts regarding depression in women versus depression in men that lead to further questioning regarding this disabling condition.

Men And Women

Depression manifests in women twice as much as it does in men.  Does this mean that women somehow have more of a predisposition toward depression?  Is it because they are women and the differences exist because of the biological differences between men and women?

Could it be cultural?  Is it not the biological aspects at all but rather the cultural influences?  It is possible that women’s different experience in the same culture because of their gender leads them toward depression?  The differing cultural experiences of men and women could help to explain the disparity.

Flawed Statistics?

Another notion to consider is that these statistics may be flawed.  Typical ideals of masculinity may prevent men from coming forward when they experience symptoms of depression.  It may be seen as weakness and inappropriate from men who are often, by societal standards, supposed to be more stoic, stronger, and more resilient.  These assumptions may not be true but they may prevent men from getting help just the same.

Societal pressure can be powerful motivators on both a conscious and unconscious level.  They cannot be discounted as an influencing factor when considering the results of studies on the incidence of depression.

Signs And Symptoms

One more possibility is in the manifestation of depression.  Perhaps women are more likely to develop the classic signs and symptoms of the disorder while men may be more likely to manifest depression in different ways.

Men may not withdraw in the typical depressive way but may instead turn to excessive work hours, substance abuse, or other ways that may channel these feelings of sadness in a manner that is more acceptable to society.   The underlying causes and feelings may be the same, but the outward symptoms may not be recognizable by conventional standards for depressive behaviour.

The causes of major depression are still not known.  The differences in the manifestation and incidence of depression between men and women can raise more questions but, at the same time, may lead to answers with further study.

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