Depression is a serious medical condition that can impact anybody. There is no race, ethnicity, age group, or gender that is immune to depression. Although, there is evidence that there is higher rates of depression among certain groups. However, many experts believe that at least some of these differences are the result of certain demographic groups choosing not to seek treatment for this medical condition. In fact, various societal groups deal with depression in different ways. This post will take a look at a few of these groups and examine typical ways (both good and bad) that they deal with depression.

Men and Depression

Unfortunately due to societal pressure to be masculine and stoic, many men have difficulty acknowledging that they are suffering from depression. They may see their lack of motivation, feeling poorly, and sadness as signs of personal failure. Some men believe that depression is a woman's disease. Sometimes, men who are suffering from depression seek out external reasons for their feelings. They may convince themselves that they would be happier if they had a different job, if their marriage was better, or simply if they were in better physical shape. Men who speak about being depressed are often met with the suggestion that they need to get over it. Depression often hits men in their forties or older. Some believe that this is in part due to the fact that this is when testosterone levels drop. Interestingly enough, this is also a time when some men go through a 'mid-life crisis'. It could be that the bad decisions some men make during these time could be the result of attempting to deal with undiagnosed depression. Men with depression frequently turn to alcohol and drugs to cope.

Women and Depression

Women also struggle to deal with the effects of depression. In many cases, they receive messages that their depression simply means that they are emotional, moody, hormonal, or simply incapable of coping with reality. They tend to internalize depression and blame themselves, especially when depression impacts their relationships. Women who speak to friends and family members about depression are often told that they should just get more sleep, push through it, or take more time for themselves. Because these messages are so frustrating, many women stop seeking support. Fortunately, women are more likely to seek medical help for depression. They are also more likely to take medication as directed and to seek the help of a counselor.

Millennials and Depression

One positive thing is that this demographic is much less likely to view depression as a sign of weakness or lack of self-discipline. This makes them more likely to get help for depression. It also makes them more likely to receive support from their peers. They are also more likely to treat themselves with kindness as they struggle with depression. There are still concerns about the ways that millennials deal with depression. First, not all millennials know where to find help and support for their symptoms. They are also often uninsured or underinsured with policies that offer little or nothing in the way of mental health coverage. Then there are college students. There are many factors that increase the rate and severity of depression among college students. These include stress factors such as dealing with:

• Academic Pressures
• Drug and Alcohol Use or the Pressure to Use Drugs and Alcohol
• Living Away From Home
• Hazing and Sexual Assault
• Changing Relationships

Depression and the Elderly

Depression can have devastating impacts on an elderly person. For one thing, there is an elevated risk of cardiac disease in elderly people with depression. Depression can also have a negative impact on an elderly person's ability to participate in rehabilitation activities after an illness, injury, or surgery. Isolation also plays a role in increasing the severity of depression in the elderly and in making it less likely that the elderly will have access to treatment. Depression can also be misdiagnosed as confusion and loss of memory due to aging. One way that elderly people cope with depression is to seek friendships and emotional connections with others. This is fine if they can make these connections in healthy ways such as joining clubs, volunteering, or participating in other group activities. However, this need to connect and to feel less lonely puts the elderly population at risk for exploitation. Many scammers take advantage of elderly people by befriending them, getting to know them, and then convincing them to give them money. Finally, the elderly population may not recognize the signs of depression. They may dismiss the way the feel as part of getting older, or they may become confused and angry. This is also a demographic group that is more likely to believe the stereotypes that are associated with depression. This includes seeing the condition as weakness, or believing that they can treat themselves through lifestyle changes.

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