Study: Male college students might perceive depression differently

By R. Ryan S Patel DO, FAPA OSU-CCS PsychiatristMovember MenDEpression option 2

In a recent national survey, about 30% of college students reported that, in a 12 month period, they felt so depressed that they it impacted their functioning (1).

But only about 7% of males and 12% of female college students were under the care of a health professional for treatment of their depression (1).

Other studies have shown that men tend to under use health care services in general. Men also have a shorter lifespan than women (4).

While there are many reasons why so few male college students with depression are getting treatment, a recent study had intriguing findings.
What did the study involve?
1577 undergraduate students ages 18–24 responded to an online survey.
The survey assessed symptoms of depression and feelings of sadness, depression, and suicidal ideation experienced in the past 2 weeks.

They also asked about students’ perceptions about how common these are among other students.

What did the results show?

Most students, and male college students in particular, underestimated the sadness and depression experienced by other college students.

Students with feelings of sadness, depression, and suicidal ideation in the past 2 weeks overestimated students with similar problems.

What might this suggest?

This study suggests that students who are not depressed might not be as good at noticing depression among their peers.

Increasing awareness might help.

What is being done to increase awareness about Men and mental health?

At OSU we are putting together a series of events for men and mental health, the (Men+November = Movember),  Mo-vember Men’s mental health campaign, during the month of November.

Know the signs, and encourage others you know to reach out to men about their health. If you are concerned, encourage them to seek help.

Helpful resources, click on the links below for:

Anonymous Mental health screening.
Suicide screening prevention.
Movember
Men’s mental health at National Institute of Mental Health

Movember National Men’s Health Campaign
Article about how depression might impact men differently.
Disclaimer: This article is intended to be informative only. It is advised that you check with your own physician/mental health provider before implementing any changes. With this article, the author is not rendering medical advice, nor diagnosing, prescribing, or treating any condition, or injury; and therefore claims no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or injury caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented.
References:
1. American College Health Association. (2014). American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment II: Reference Group Executive Summary Spring 2014.
2. American College Health Association (2012). American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment II: Reference Group Executive Summary Spring 2012.
3. Geisner IM, et al. College Students’ Perceptions of Depressed Mood: Exploring Accuracy and Associations. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice 2015 American Psychological Association 2015, Vol. 46, No. 5, 375–383.
4. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data_access/Vitalstatsonline.htm