Men’s Discourses of Depression


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Search for more papers by this author. Login to your account Username. Forgot password? Keep me logged in. New User. Change Password. Old Password. New Password. Password Changed Successfully Your password has been changed. Create a new account Email.

Returning user. Can't sign in? Forgot your password? Enter your email address below and we will send you the reset instructions. If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to reset your password Close. Request Username Can't sign in? Although some groups of men in their study such as firefighters sought out health care, this occurred in situations in which the men perceived that these actions enhanced their masculinity.

Noone and Stephens concluded that men use discursive strategies to explain and justify gendered healthcare utilisation and to generate a masculine position that emphasises that men seldom use health care, in contrast with the feminine position of women as regular users of health care. Noone and Stephens found the men relied on discursive strategies to justify their healthcare access while preserving their masculine identities, portraying themselves as masterful and knowledgeable users of health care.

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These researchers also referred to a gendered health discourse that located the masculine ideal as a man who displays tolerance to pain, thereby avoiding stereotypical femininity and frequent consultations Noone and Stephens A discourse analysis of depression and gender in newspaper texts concluded that media discourses perpetuated gender stereotypes of depression by portraying men as silent about their depression and their feelings, as reluctant to seek help and emphasising sudden physical collapse Bengs et al.

Scientific discourses Foucault , in the form of medical and social science reviews, have widely reported that men utilise the healthcare system far less than women in terms of seeking help for mental health issues, addictions, counselling and medical problems Addis and Mahalik For the findings reported here a qualitative research approach based in a social constructionist perspective of language, discourse and gender that draws on methods from discourse analysis is employed. We understand the concept of discourse in the Foucauldian sense in which discourses are not defined solely by language or linguistic textual interpretations but refer to the social processes by which meanings are produced as an outcome of social, institutional and historical practices, structures and relations of power Foucault Discourses are shaped by broader social structures and social relations thereby defining, constructing and governing topics and subjects.

Discourse analysis considers how texts that is, the interview transcripts are constructed in terms of social, cultural, political and historical situatedness Cheek Specifically, texts convey certain aspects of reality in particular ways: they are a reflection of and in turn constructed by their context.

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Individuals may take up multiple discourses and use them to organise their speech and assign meaning to their own experience. This critical view of the individual assumes that individuals do not select beliefs or language about beliefs in isolation but in communities of social practice, and that the production of discourse in talk is strategic, active and the result of social and power relations Talja Recruitment strategies included postcards, brochures and print media advertisements describing the study and inviting men to contact the project director.

This study received approval from the behavioural research ethics board of a western Canadian university and all participants completed a written consent form. All the participants received a resource sheet of mental health services and the interviewers had specific guidelines for ceasing interviews if the participants became distressed.

The interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed verbatim, excluding any identifying information, reviewed for accuracy and labelled with an identifier code.

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Conflict in Men’s Experiences With Antidepressants

Some entire interviews, the field notes, as well as the coded engagement data, comprised the textual data for this analysis. What is the nature and tone of the language the men selected to describe their experiences and how does this relate to their perception of gender? The discursive frames were then probed to determine if they differed for those with and without a formal diagnosis and by severity of depression captured through the BDI scores.

These scores were slightly higher among the participants who had a formal diagnosis of depression. Of the 12 men who had not been formally diagnosed, three had BDI scores suggestive of minimal depression, one had a score suggestive of mild depression, four had scores suggestive of moderate depression and four had scores suggestive of severe depression.

It should also be noted that some of the men we spoke with were recovering from recent bouts with severe depression so their BDI scores did not necessarily reflect the severity of the depressive episodes they had experienced. We identified no patterns across these discursive frames based on the severity of BDI score, formal or informal diagnoses or other variables, such as age and ethnicity.

As social discourses, these frames were not mutually exclusive or chronological in nature; participants often generated multiple discursive frames in their interview. This discursive frame is closely aligned with hegemonic masculine ideals including strength, courage and independence. The notion that manly men do not seek help was a key feature of this discourse. Many men suggested, with acute awareness, that their reluctance to seek help was tied to their sense of masculinity;.

Depression In Black Men

A strong expectation expressed was that that men should be able to deal with their problems and that the reluctance to seek help was grounded in a fear of being judged. The men framed depression as difficult to interpret and act on, in contrast with physical problems that have tangible symptoms. But as compared to other things like a cold or something, you have some physical cure for it. Because I felt, like, if talking can help me then I can help myself.

Male depression: Understanding the issues

The men whose talk aligned with this discursive frame openly or subtly ridiculed other men who sought help, demonstrating the power of this perspective. To seek help from a physician was constructed as a sign of weakness. Seeking professional help and taking treatment for his depression were integrated with his masculine identity and active fathering role. Only after a man had fully wrestled with depression on his own could he turn to others for help. For example, the idea of investigating or making an appointment to examine management options, meet potential caregivers or ask questions was not described.

Therapies that fixed the problem such as a chemical imbalance or provided an active role for the man were favoured. In contrast, therapeutic approaches that emphasised empathic listening or psychodynamic insight were considered suspect. Guarded vulnerability is a paradoxical frame that emerged as men talked about how they were not coping well with their depression, while at the same time recognising their masculine ideals were threatened by revealing this vulnerability.

The perception of vulnerability the men attached to asking for help had to be allayed to protect the masculine self. The men suggested they guarded their vulnerability by cautiously seeking assistance, limiting disclosure of their depression and minimising the severity of the depression experience or the magnitude of need. The first time I was in there racing thoughts again, mania. In many cases, the experience of vulnerability was not related to the actual symptoms of depression for example, sadness, anger and despair so much as this experience of adopting the patient role and submitting to an interaction with a health professional, a threat that needed to be managed.

In requesting help from a family member instead of a professional, the men not only maintained confidentiality in relation to their illness, they avoided brushing up against institutional structures in which power relations enacted by class, education and ethnic differences became evident. Many men voiced the idea that disclosure of depression to a friend or spouse put them in a less vulnerable position than disclosure to a professional.

Men's Discourses of Depression by Dariusz Galasinski | | Booktopia

For those who are fairly comfortable with being gay, even then [they] may opt to do the informal therapy, you know, talking to friends and what not. Which of course is helpful … to have a network of friends that you can express your emotions and feelings about things to. That is very good. But there are times when, yeah, you need professional help.

Discourses of Depression

I think there is something with male culture, maybe it is brain chemistry. This passage reproduces the discourse that men must demonstrate an appropriate threshold of discomfort before seeking help, paired with the gendered assumption that asking for professional help makes men too vulnerable, too weak. I admitted it to myself for the months leading up to it. In this passage, the man defends his need familial history to ask for professional help, but is further disappointed with the outcome of a prescription.

The message embedded in the discourse cautions that a man must keep up his guard when subjecting himself to medical encounters. Paradoxically, the discourse of guarded vulnerability was also drawn upon to justify the decision to not seek professional assistance. R: Why have you refused counselling? The discourse of desperation suggests that there is no choice but to seek help. Within this context, the uptake of emergency care did not transgress their masculine ideals. I drove myself to the hospital and I was trying to kick in the hospital doors and trying to get in and then I walked right into the back and they put me in the suicide room.

BDI Then I either read every single word in a magazine or I just simply flipped through it. Legitimated also is his foresight to act, conviction to wait and diligence in having the illness named and the problem addressed. That happened to me a couple of times. He later acknowledged and shared the responsibility for this situation, and in doing so likened himself to an impulsive child:. Did I look for help other than that? This frame gave the participants a way to distance themselves from depression by suggesting they were seeking help for desperation rather than for depression.

Desperation discourses could emerge from a multitude of circumstances that were not always exclusively linked to depression. The power of this discourse is that the complexity of the desperation and crisis may camouflage the chronic underlying health issue, disguising the real purpose of seeking help.

In this frame the traditional masculine, scientific model of being fixed with medication a business approach paled amid the emergence of more traditional feminine features, such as being understood and listened to in the context of a trusting, personal relationship. Another key feature of this discourse is an articulated desire just to have someone listen.

Men’s Discourses of Depression Men’s Discourses of Depression
Men’s Discourses of Depression Men’s Discourses of Depression
Men’s Discourses of Depression Men’s Discourses of Depression
Men’s Discourses of Depression Men’s Discourses of Depression
Men’s Discourses of Depression Men’s Discourses of Depression
Men’s Discourses of Depression Men’s Discourses of Depression
Men’s Discourses of Depression Men’s Discourses of Depression

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