Men are a numerical minority group receiving a diagnosis of, and treatment
for, depression. However, community surveys of men and of their mental
health issues (e.g. suicide and alcoholism) have led some to suggest that
many more men have depression than are currently seen in healthcare
services. This article explores current approaches to men and depression,
which draw on theories of sex differences, gender roles and hegemonic
masculinity. The sex differences approach has the potential to provide
diagnostic tools for (male) depression; gender role theory could be used to
redesign health services so that they target individuals who have a
masculine, problem-focused coping style; and hegemonic masculinity
highlights how gender is enacted through depression and that men's
depression may be visible in abusive, aggressive and violent practices.
Depression in men is receiving growing recognition, and recent policy
changes in the UK may mean that health services are obliged to incorporate
services that meet the needs of men with depression.