Some Men Talk About Depression Differently : Older men should be encouraged to talk about changes in work, health, and family context.


Dr. Barker did identify some differences. Mexican American men linked these losses with impacts on the family more than white non-Hispanic men did. “Mexican men's concerns about the family versus [white non-Hispanic] men's more individualized issues are definitely consistent with a large and diverse literature on these population groups,” indicating they are more familistic, she said.

Lack of productivity was linked to an inability to provide for or take care of family members. White non-Hispanic men, however, were more likely to directly link it to physical disability that affected them as individuals.

Ester Carolina Apesoa-Varano, Ph.D., of the University of California, Davis, then addressed family issues that emerged from the interviews.

Families play a dual role, both facilitating and serving as barriers to the treatment of depression. Drawing from the participants' accounts, she observed that men often perceive a lack of support for their depression.

“Families tend to normalize depression as a part of aging,” she said. That can inhibit care seeking. They also can stigmatize depression, making men less willing to disclose their feelings and less likely to seek formal care, she added.

None of the presenters disclosed any conflicts. MeHAS is funded by the NIMH.

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