Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Nursing

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Dr. Patricia B. Howard

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative descriptive study is to describe men’s experiences of depression in order to provide direction for future research of the screening, diagnosing, and treatment of men's depression. Previous research indicates that men experience different depressive symptoms than women, and there is a possibility that men's depression is not being adequately captured by current screening standards, which would theoretically lead to a large number of men with unrecognized, undiagnosed, and untreated depression. If this is the case, this may explain the disproportionately low number of men diagnosed with depression compared to women, in contrast to the disproportionately high number of men who complete suicides. There is a need in the literature for descriptions of depression experienced by men in order to determine the adequacy of current psychometric screening tools and approaches to treatment which are currently in practice. This qualitative study seeks to begin to fill in this gap in the literature. Key findings indicate that intentionally and unintentionally hide their feelings of depression, and that men experience anger as an early sign of depression. In addition, men often do not recognize their distress as depression until someone else suggests they seek professional help; and men use various methods of distraction to cope with their distress, including excessive working, sleeping, eating, TV watching, and alcohol consumption. Recommendations for further research are discussed.

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