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First depression study to look at masculinity

One of the few studies to look at male depression has generated some useful findings and fascinating first-person testimony.

The research demonstrates that that some men can, and will, talk about depression and their feelings suggesting generalisations about depressed men always being silent are misleading.

The concept of masculinity and what it means to men who are depressed is often ignored and the research attempts to fill the gap.

One of the research team, Dr Carol Emslie said: 'As part of recovery from depression, it was important for men to reconstruct a valued sense of themselves and their own masculinity. The most common strategy was to incorporate values associated with traditional masculinity into narratives (such as. re-establishing control). 

'While this aided recovery for some men, for others the pressures of traditional masculinity could be seen as contributing to suicidal behaviour.  In contrast, a minority of men had found alternative ways of being masculine, and constructed their 'difference' (enhanced creativity and sensitivity) from other men as a positive feature.'

The first-person testimonies are available here on DIPEx.

For more information click here or download the full study - "It breaks this assumption that depression is an illness for women or for weaker people”: exploring gender identities in men's accounts of depression by Emslie, Ridge, Ziebland and Hunt - below.

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Page created on April 24th, 2006

Page updated on December 1st, 2009