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August 21, 2017

More men are using antidepressants, but many factors still keep them from seeking mental health help

Use of antidepressants typically has a higher rate among women, but a new study finds that the rate of men taking antidepressants is on the rise.

A report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention looking at the use of antidepressants in Americans from 2011 to 2014 showed more men are taking the treatment than ever before, with almost 1 in 10 men reporting use within the last month of when they were surveyed.

The most recent data shows a 69 percent jump from the rates in 1999 to 2002, when a reported five percent of men said they took antidepressants.

Additionally, 21 percent of men surveyed said they had taken antidepressants for 10 years or more.

Nonetheless, women are still twice as likely to report taking antidepressants, and though the rate has always been higher among women than in men, it may be more an issue of vulnerability than susceptibility to depression. Though mental health issues have become a more mainstream topic and somewhat less stigmatized than in the past, many social implications still play a factor in whether men seek mental health help.

“Male depression sometimes manifests through the ‘male code’ that says you cannot show weakness, sadness or vulnerability,” said Fred Rabinowitz, a professor of psychology at the University of Redlands, to Men’s Health.

Research from the American Journal of Psychiatry also suggests men are less likely to report mental illness because the fallout is often related to career disappointment and financial struggle. Researchers also say that recognizing depression or anxiety may be more difficult as the symptoms often manifest in anger or substance abuse.

Consequently, antidepressants can also cause delayed orgasm among men, which further contributes to why men may be less likely to seek help when they should be treated for depression. According to Men’s Health, weight gain and insomnia are also common risks associated with taking antidepressants.

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