Almost half of men have suffered from depression.
In a recent survey of 1,500 men, 42 per cent claimed they had struggled with the condition at some point. This number was higher among older men, as 46 per cent of respondents between 45 and 54 years old said they had been depressed. This was only true among 39 per cent of those in their twenties and early thirties.
Stephen Buckley, head of information at mental health support charity Mind, said that older men “may be at a point in their life when they have recently experienced divorce, bereavement or redundancy”. This could explain the higher rate of depression.
The survey was conducted by Huffington Post UK for International Men’s Day today (19 November). As many as four in five men questioned said that they would rather suffer alone than talk to people about their depression, as they would be uncomfortable discussing their feelings openly with other people.
Buckley said that men were “less likely than women to seek help with feelings of depression”. He suggested that middle-aged men in particular could be “adversely affected by the feeling they should keep a stiff upper lip at all times”.
Men can have an increased risk of mental health issues as a result of their attitudes, Buckley explained. Mind’s research has revealed that “men define themselves much more by their profession than women, so redundancy is more damaging to their mental health”. In fact, one in seven men will suffer from depression within six months if they lose their job, Buckley claimed.
Earlier this year, researchers found that stepfathers are particularly vulnerable to depression.