Are There Any Sociocultural Factors That Raise The Likelihood That Women Or Members Of Any Other Group Will Be Diagnosed

Dr. Pollack answers the question: 'Sociocultural Factors And Depression?'

ByABC News
February 27, 2008, 5:33 PM

— -- Question: Are there any sociocultural factors that raise the likelihood that women or members of any other group will be diagnosed with depression?

Answer: In the United States, women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with depression. But a number of us have started to wonder whether that means that women are twice as likely to have a depression, or that men have a depression, but are not diagnosed for it.

Why would that occur? That would occur because women are more likely to show their feelings, their sadness and to seek help. Men, on the other hand, are socialized to be stoic, not to show their pain and often don't interpret the physical symptoms of depression, like not sleeping, insomnia, physical pain as being the depression. And when they're irritable, angry and abusive, which are the early signs from men in depression, or they take risks and put themselves in harms way, others think there's something wrong with them, but they're not depressed.

So often they don't get the treatment for depression that they need. That's how our social systems sometimes see men and women differently when they have a depression.

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