You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 4:30 p.m.

Are men as likely to become depressed as women? University of Michigan study says yes

By Kellie Woodhouse

It might be commonly thought that women suffer from depression more than men, but The Boston Globe reports that a recent University of Michigan study found men are just as likely as women to get the blues if alternative symptoms are considered.

U-M researchers surveyed 3,000 women and 2,000 men, looking for alternative symptoms not included in the standard criteria used to diagnose depression, such as anger, aggression, risk taking and substance abuse.

The Globe reports that researchers found 26 percent of men and 22 percent of women had such symptoms, while 31 percent of men and 33 percent of women displayed traditional symptoms of depression, such as sadness and tiredness.

"When alternative and traditional symptoms are combined, sex disparities in the prevalence of depression are eliminated," the study's abstract reads.

The study was published in the JAMA Psychiatry journal in August.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.


Dog Guy

Fri, Sep 6, 2013 : 1:52 p.m.

If U-M researchers take leaves as alternative symptoms, deciduous plants have manic-depressive bipolar disorder.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 6:34 p.m.

InFromOutWhere totally nails it when citing the "boys will be boys" ideal. This "man's world" is toxic for those of us who are not the model of traditional masculinity (read Jackson Katz). My hunch is that because of this, more depressed men than not hunker down and just "take it", and so the stats get turned completely sideways due to neglect of this illness. One thought I'd also like to entertain would be the lack of human physical contact. Women are allowed to touch people, but for men it's nearly a felony to do so and certainly not seen as manly by many. A touchless society, such as we've worked toward "achieving" is probably going to be noted by researchers as a cynical, violent and depressive society. and males who are not Alpha males (particularly those of us who would be classified as 'Delta Males' on a Huxleyan scale) may not have relationships and hence be isolated. Let me guarantee you: that causes EXTREMELY SEVERE depression! I know it.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 12:13 p.m.

"It might be commonly thought that women suffer from depression more than men, ..." I am not sure this is correct, but don't necessarily dispute it. I would be more interested in knowing whether men seek treatment for depression more or less than women. That is a piece of information that could lead to useful educational intervention.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 3:09 a.m.

Depression is a chemical imbalance of the brain. There is so much misinformation about this brain disease, for example, calling it the blues. One of the side effects of clinical depression is suicidal thoughts. The traditional thinking that this mental illness is more of a woman's disorder is absurd and an injustice to the mental health of men. Maybe that is why more men suicide than women. More research and education needs to continue.

Lyn Barron

Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 8:26 a.m.

more woman attempt, but men are more lethal.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 2:50 a.m.

Just gotta ask this is a University of Michigan study.... Why is this report from the Boston Globe? Before the primary election had a well done article detailing the attendance of city council members. It likely had an impact on the election results. If expects to fully replace printed daily newspapers more feature articles should be undertaken. Real journalism takes work, not just regurgitating stories from other sources, whether it be: AP, Boston Globe or The Saline Reporter.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 12:11 p.m.

TMI Lyn.

Lyn Barron

Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 8:49 a.m.

I would like someone to investigate what happened in my situation. I feel like Chris Dorner must have felt. No one listens/cares. His mother said she wished he had talked to a journalist. I have tried since Jan. 08. My UM psych doctor said that I had PTSD from not getting my job back from UM, and suggested I talk to a lawyer. The lawyer said that a Judge would not necessarily care if my supervisor was given my Doctor's notes by HR- causing a hostile environment for me. Then HR went to my personal car insurance company and told them lies about me. I paid for a trial and a jury and did not get either. I put it on vimeo but no one seems to care that UM treats their employees this way. I pleaded with Mr. Boothman to do an investigation, but he said I was talking to the wrong person. I wrote letters to HR asking what I needed to do. Finally I was told that I did not get my job back because of the wrongful death of my mom in 1998 and they thought I was going to sue. I told them I did not sue- she died in 1998 and this was 2009. Does that make sense to anyone? This is how I was treated coming back to work from a mental disability.


Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 12:55 a.m.

So long as we keep endorsing "boys will be boys" and "real men don't cry" mantras, we do men everywhere a disservice. This is particularly true for younger men who haven't necessarily developed effective means of coping or seeking help in times of extreme stress or pain. It's wonderful that studies like this can start a conversation, even if it's not something people are necessarily comfortable thinking about!


Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 11:55 p.m.

Psychiatry is thought by some to be a field overly reliant on drugs. Looks like the Globe is pay only for online articles.

Homeland Conspiracy

Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 11:01 p.m.

Don't worry "they" have happy pills for this very problem

Dog Guy

Tue, Sep 3, 2013 : 9:29 p.m.

"Alternative symptoms not included in the standard criteria used to diagnose depression, such as anger, aggression, risk taking and substance abuse," are also indications of infection by XY gonosomes or testosterone poisoning.