In need of a 250 word response/discussion to each of the following forum posts. Agreement/disagreement/and/or continuing the discussion.
Original forum discussion/topic post is as follows:
This week, your textbook assignment reviews some specific theories to explain the huge difference in the diagnosis of depression in women as compared to men and across various ethnic groups. Choose one or two of these theories to discuss further. In addition to posting your own thoughts, find a scholarly article in the library databases that examines this theory in more detail, upload a copy of it, and discuss its findings (and your views of them!) here.
Forum post response #1
After reading the assigned reading for this week, I was unable to find any of the theories in the text book that were similar to the ones in the Chapter 8 Lesson 4 PowerPoint. I used the lesson 4 PowerPoint to gain knowledge on the theories discussed for this week. I found the artifact theory to be interesting since it is said that women and men are equally prone to depression, but that clinicians fail to detect the depression in men. It seemed odd that depression isn’t detected in men as easy as it is in women, so I was in hopes that research would be able to explain more. According to Albert (2015), a study found that women displayed more sensitivity to interpersonal relationships as men were more sensitive to external career and goal-orientated factors. The article also mentions that women are generally at a higher risk because of hormonal changes during things like puberty, pregnancy, and menstrual cycles. I think that women having a higher depression based off of these two findings seems to be more logical since men do not deal with pregnancy or menstrual cycles.
Forum post response #2
I also found the life stress theory interesting and wanted to find out why women in society experience more stress than men. My initial though would be that women feel that they have to care for their families in regards to taking care of the children as well as keeping things around the house in order, and worrying about keeping the family happy. This related to the previous statement regarding depression being higher in women as well. This can be all on top of carrying a full time job, so this could be one example of how women have more stress than men. In a study done on coping with overload and stress in different genders Huggins, Duxbury, and Lyons (2010), explained a few of the possibilities that could be related to this finding. First, men could be responsible for choosing a more effective coping strategies than women do. The other finding that I found relatively close to what I originally predicted, was that women tend to overload on multitasking and it then takes time away from their traditional role of caregiver. Women feel as if they have to focus on the family and their full time job, all while balancing their own stressors of their life and relationships. Overall, I think that the research that was done seems to be explainable since women do experience more of a hormonal balance change then men do over their lives.
forum post response #3
In the big beautiful world, we are consumed by, depression is a globally known phenomena and with that said, culturally—Americans are leading the pack when it comes to being diagnosed. According to Comer, a whopping 54% of Americans seek treatment for their depression compared to 34% of Hispanics and 40% of African Americans (pg. 243). Comer argues the lack of minority groups seeking treatment is because of the limited opportunities open to them. I want to also point out “pride.” Pride is a huge thing for many other cultural groups when it comes to mental illness and depression; for example, Japanese men would rather go into the Aokigahara forest and commit suicide rather than seeking treatment for their depression because of their strong pride. It is not totally unusual to believe some people can be “too prideful” to seek treatment. Many men of all colors, shapes, and sizes have a tendency to hide their true feelings out of fear of what society might think about them.
As I was reading the text and learning about the different theories of depression, women were much more likely to be a victim of all the models. Let’s look at some of the theories closely: the artifact theory is one that believes both men and women are equally prone to depression, but explains men find it unacceptable to be depressed. This may be due to the fact men are taught to be strong, breadwinners, and crying or sadness are signs of weakness. The hormone explanation states that hormones play a massive role in depression and this theory is targeted at women. It’s assuming because women are emotional beings, they are not fully responsible for their emotions. By saying hormone imbalances are a reason for women’s diagnoses of depression is saying that women are biologically inferior to women, which goes against feminism. The next one is the life stress theory and it states women in society are far more stressed than men. Comer uses examples of less adequate housing, poverty, and discrimination (pg. 242). This is not entirely true because men have different types of stress that impact their clarity; for example, men who reach a certain age goes through a mid-life crisis, which can be compared to the women’s menopausal state. Men who are providers must worry about financial stability and responsibility, especially if they live in a society that has a higher standard of living. A personal theory I am personally affected by is called the body dissatisfaction explanation and once again Comer argues women are prone to depression because of it. He says women are affected by the media to maintain a slender body, youthful appearance, and to dress a certain way. Well, I am a gay man and just like women—I look at male celebrities and models on television shows or magazines and feel depressed. I’m not slender or muscular. I don’t have a youthful appearance and expensive name brand clothing. It feels like those goals are out of reach for me and it depresses me to such an extent I can’t always function normally in society. The lack of self-control theory explains depression as a “learned helplessness” model and women are said to be more commonly recognized as victims, thus making them feel depressed over their inability to assist in burglaries or even rape. the last theory is called the rumination theory and people who ruminate over their depressed feelings remain depressed because they continually worry, think, and wonder why they are feeling depressed. Once again, Comer argues women are most likely to ruminate their feelings.
With the theories being outlined, I have chosen to look more into detail on just how or why body dissatisfaction can impact a person’s emotional state. More importantly, I want to look more on how it can affect males than females. We all know body dissatisfaction is partly to blame for eating disorders and extreme workout regimes. While it is clear that a lot of people’s body dissatisfaction roots from thinking they are overweight, with men it is a slightly different ideology because with men, they may misinterpret weight gain and muscle mass (Grossbard, Lee, Neighbors, & Larimer, 2008). It is interesting because a lot of women with eating disorders stride to be skinny and slender like the models they see on television. Most men who struggle with body dissatisfaction want to be muscular and strong because this is the way the media has impacted them. When people say the media lacks credibility to manipulate people’s minds, they have very little idea just how influential the media is. Some people are more susceptible to the media influence than others. That doesn’t mean a person is weaker than another; it just means those people have a higher self-regard and self-esteem.
As a male who has been fat my entire life, I can tell you just how impacted I have been from peer pressure and the media in my life. I am 33 years old, going on 34 in July, and I am still trying to lose 30-40 pounds, so I can be somewhat in the normal range of BMI. I see these males on television and wonder just what they do to maintain their physique. Some guys make it look so easy and I wonder how their metabolism work better than mine. Body dissatisfaction does come from a lack of self-esteem and self-confidence. I can be the first person to tell you, my self-esteem is shit: excuse my French. When I took my CNA certification class and I work in the nursing clinicals, people weigh me, and they do not believe I’m 197.6 lbs. They ask me, where is your weight hiding? I think they are just flattering me because I look in the mirror and I see an overly obese person. This dangerous territory, especially when it interferes with your day-to-day life. Sometimes I will starve myself, which is a danger because we need food to fuel our bodies and I will put stress on my body when I force myself to run 2.6 miles 4 times a day without properly fueling my body. Right there, I have other pinpointed two D’s that qualify my behavior as abnormal.
One of the theories that explains the huge difference in the diagnosis of depression in women as compared to men and across ethnic groups is the rumination theory. This theory suggests that women tend to ruminate when depressed more than men (Comer, 2015). Research shows that when women are feeling down, they tend to have repeated worrying thoughts about why they are feeling a certain way, they question will they ever feel better, and will spend more time beating themselves up for feeling this way. Comer (2015) suggests that women who have thoughts of causes and consequences of their feelings are more likely to become depressed and stay depressed longer. McBride and Bagby (2006) substantiate this idea in their article on rumination which further explains women’s vulnerability to depression.
The difference among genders in response to depression is noticeable as early as puberty and continues through adulthood (McBride & Bagby, 2006). There are many reasons for this difference which fall into the categories of physiological, social, and psychological. For instance, hormonal changes, societal gender inequity, societal pressure, and women’s overall feelings of “less than”. Ruminative thoughts are detrimental in that they inhibit effective problem solving and can prevent a person from taking more effective measures to de-stress. There are two types of ruminative thoughts. One is symptom focused in which the individual is focused on their symptoms of depression and may ask themselves “why can’t I focus”. The other type is self-focused in which the individual is focused on the self and may ask themselves “what is wrong with me”. The self-focused rumination is more closely affiliated with the personality dimension of neuroticism which leads to a greater chance of experiencing anxiety and self-consciousness.
As a result of their investigation, McBride and Bagby (2006) propose an additional theory, the response style theory, that simply states that while women revert to repeated negative thoughts in response to depression, men use distractions as a coping mechanism. These distractions involve activities that require thinking and/or movement. Men will either engage in an activity that requires their total concentration or they will get up and become involved in a physically tasked activity. Even further, McBride and Bagby (2006) discuss other research that described rumination as a two-factor construct. The first, called reflection, is noted as turning inward to focus on more adaptive behavior to destress. The second, known as brooding, involves constant comparisons of one’s behavior to an unachieved standard. Obviously, reflection produces less depression than brooding.
On a personal note, I can say that my husband and I are classic textbook cases for these theories. When I am feeling “not my best” I will obsess over the fact that I am feeling this way and obsess about why I am feeling this way. My husband, on the other hand, will not sit still long enough to allow negative thoughts to even enter his mind. As he often says to me “I refuse to go down the rabbit hole”. Well, I guess it works because he is very seldom down.