Worden mannen over het hoofd gezien? Sekseverschillen in de diagnostiek en behandeling van depressie


  • Greta Noordenbos


This article reviews sex differences in the characteristics, causes, experiences and treatment of depression. Gender asymmetry in the development of depression, with a sex ratio bstay in feminist debates and psychological research. This gender asymmetry might be a consequence of gender bias in the diagnostic criteria of depression, that show a better fit with the way women express sad feelings. Moreover, because of internalized ideas about masculinity, men have not learned to express sad feelings and to ask for help in case of emotional problems. They tend to develop an alcohol problem more often than women and tend to ask for help for their depression only at a later stage. Men prefer to explain feelings of depression as a biological problem, to be treated with medication. However, research shows that for men psychotherapy might be the better option to reduce the risk of relapse. To reduce the gender bias in the diagnostic criteria it is suggested that diagnostic characteristics should be developed specifically geared to depressed men. Furthermore, a gender-sensitive treatment in which clients are able to express their preference for a male or a female therapist, and in which genderspecific problems are discussed, should become available.etween women and men of 2:1, is a main