Men face an impossible challenge of not only being strong yet sensitive, successful but not materialistic and caring yet masculine.
Enough to cause depression, and as Paul Farmer, the Chief Executive of the Mental Health charity MIND suggested, because men tend to suffer depression in silence, they often go undiagnosed, which is one of the reasons three quarters of suicides are men.
According to Farmer, another reason is that GPs are more inclined to identify the condition in women, however, untrained as they are in spotting it in men.
Not only that, we hear a lot about women battling depression, as only last week Allison Pearson described her fight with acute depression in vivid detain in the Daily Mail. Her testimony follows a spate of high-profile confessions of breakdown from other high-achieving women, such as, writers Stephanie Merritt, Marian Keyes and Sally Brampton, detailing how they were laid low by this crippling disability.
Others include actress Emma Thompson and Beverley Callard of Coronation Street, who recently confessed undergoing patches of acute mental distress.
There is no denying depression is a serious problem amongst women, but it is rare to hear of a man's experience with it.
According to MIND, men are just as likely to suffer depression as women, however, they manifest it in different ways, such as, indulging in a fit of anger or violence. They are also far less likely to admit they have a problem in the first place, as that would be far too huge a blow to their self-esteem.
As any lifelong sufferer of depression knows, along with the obvious ones of stress and genetic inheritance, the main source of depression are uncertainty and confusion.
The fluidity of the roles men are expected to play in both professionally and emotionally, lead them to doubt the role of a man actually is.
Unhappiness can be dealt with, as long as one knows the cause of it and what can be done about it. Unhappiness merges into depression when one begins to doubt ones own self-worth and what one's place in the world is.
Everywhere, the blurring of gender roles has produced more reasons for anxiety and conflict in men. Men's assumptions about their place in society, their self worth, their role in the family, have been largely swept away.
Another threat to the male ego is, as a recent study indicated, 45% of women now earn more than their husbands, sparking deep-seated feelings of worthlessness and insecurity in men, long identified as being the breadwinners.
Added to that is the fact that men are made to feel maladroit and useless, as they are expected to have an opinion on what the curtains must look like, they should do their fair share of the cooking and housework, and with so many new roles to adopt, it is hardly surprising men feel slow and ungainly.
Men are also more subject to loneliness than women, enjoying less solid social networks and tending to be less supportive of one another. And, if a divorce takes place, statistics reveal women cope better with separation than men, as they lack the very physical and straightforward love and friendship that exists among women.
Just imagine the acute mental distress a man puts himself through, being unable to call a male friend and tell him about how desperate you feel. And, even if he does, his male friend will not have a clue as to what he should say, since men just don't have any practice, or the mental equipment to unburden themselves emotionally to another person.
- Cancer charity committee looks for volunteers
- Collapse of non-emergency NHS phoneline leads to doubling of cost to Bolton
- Brit soldier first in UK to receive mind-controlled prosthetic limb
- Since Asperger revelation, Susan Boyle performs on Loose Women for the
- Gerard Butler’s appeal against five-year ban