Dear Dr. B,
I heard recently that women are more likely to be depressed. Is that true? What does that say about me if I’m a depressed man?
Is it true? Are women more depression-prone?
Statistics suggest that more women are Diagnosed with depression. That doesn’t tell the entire story, however. Women are, by nature, more likely to seek out help for everything from directions to depression. And women are often the ones to encourage their male loved-ones to seek medical attention for sleep apnea to heart attacks.
Men and women both suffer from the painful condition of depression.
So those statistics are based on the numbers of individuals actually diagnosed with depression. In order to be diagnosed with depression, an individual must first seek medical attention. And in order to seek medical attention, one must be willing to admit that there might be a problem.
Unfortunately, even though women are more likely to be diagnosed with depression, a high percentage of men also suffer from this painful condition.
There is no reason to be ashamed of suffering from depression.
But if I can encourage you for a moment, there is no more reason to be ashamed of depression than there is of allergies or high blood pressure. They are all medical conditions that require treatment in order to avoid more devastating effects in the long run.
Sometimes, however, it takes a loving spouse, friend, or sibling to lovingly encourage our men to seek medical attention.
I applaud you for admitting, at least to yourself and to me, that you are “afflicted” as you say.
Admitting we have an area of difficulty is the precursor to getting help and finding hope.
It takes courage to make such an admission. I pray you’ll use that same courage to seek appropriate treatment so that you won’t continue to suffer in silence.
I’m cheering you on!
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
Depression doesn’t have to become a permanent part of life.
There is hope.
Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression and the companion Hope Prevails Bible Study help the reader understand how depression comes to be, recover their joy, reclaim their peace, and re-establish their true identity, while knowing their worth, remembering their secure destiny, and being confident that nothing separates them from God’s love.
“It is refreshing to have a board-certified neuropsychologist acknowledge the spiritual component of depression, but it is even more impressive that Dr. Bengtson would be willing to share her own journey through the fog of despair. Her personal insights are invaluable for those who are struggling with what is often described as ‘the common cold of mental illness.’” ~ Dr. Neil T. Anderson, founder and president emeritus of Freedom in Christ Ministries and Author of Overcoming Depression