Listen as Dr. Legato explains how women and men express depression in different ways.
There are striking differences between how the two sexes act under the burden of depression. Men will tend to become more isolated, less communicative, turn to things like excessive drinking, sexual excesses, spend hours gambling or on their computer, anything to escape the pressures of their lives, and they will do so in a sort of solitary fashion.
Warning signs may be a change in personality, a lot more irritability, even turning to violence, which is uncharacteristic. Women, on the other hand, are much more likely to reach out to others and verbalize their unhappiness, at least in the earlier stages of depression. They will call their friends, they will ask for advice, they will research what medications might help them, and they will go to their healthcare professionals much more readily than men.
So in a sense, the incidence of depression seems greater in women than in men on a 2:1 ratio throughout the world, but it’s my conviction that depression is more common than we realize in men. It’s just that we don’t know how to read the signs as well as we do for women.
About Dr. Legato:
Dr. Marianne J. Legato is an internationally known academic physician, author, lecturer and specialist in women's health. She is a Professor of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and the Founder and Director of the Partnership for Women’s Health at Columbia University. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical School. Dr. Legato founded the Partnership for Women's Health at Columbia University in 1997. It is the first collaboration between academic medicine and the private sector focused solely on gender-specific medicine: the science of how normal human biology differs between men and women and of how the diagnosis and treatment of disease differs as a function of gender. Dr. Legato has received many awards for her leadership role in women's health.
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