Women,Men,Society,and Depression

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jjjjj
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 3/13/2006 10:43 AM (GMT -7)   
  I can not help but notice that people treat men and women different.  If you are a psychiatrist or therapist and you see a big strong looking man come in your office or a small beautiful women and they both have depression who would you want to help more?
 
  It is not that I hate women and want to bring them down or anything like that.  I must admit that sometimes I am jealous though of (what seems to me as) women getting better treatment from society.  I am not talking just about from doctors but in many different aspects of life.
 
  I am probably gonna catch alot of bad vibes just from posting this.  I am sorry if I offend anyone.  I do not think that men are better than women or women are better than men or any of that.  I am simply stating what I have observed in my life.
 
  I don't know really.  It is just something that bothers me about life. 
 
  Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 3/13/2006 12:15 PM (GMT -7)   
I cant really say if you do notice a difference in the kind of treatment you receive according to your sex.  The comment I do want to make is that I am 115 pounds 5'5 feet tall blond hair, brown eyes female.  I have had to deal with double standards all the time because of my sex.  They were not in my favor.  Getting ripped off buying a car by salesmen, at the car repair shops, in school at the computer lab.  I get called little girl or princess because of my size even though I am 32 years old and often times older than the people/ guys calling me this that think they are being cute.  You can see double standards any and every where you go.  Men have always had the best of this world from the start in my opinion.

~elisha
 


Sadsong
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 3/14/2006 4:45 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi jjjjj -

I would completely agree with you - men and women are treated differently in our society.  The social stereotypes could be described as follows: men are expected to be strong, women are expected to be supportive and understanding.  When it comes to depression these sex roles seem to place a larger burden on males, since men aren't suppose to talk about their feelings or show any sign of weakness.  Whereas, it's more socially acceptable for women to be depressed - i.e. postpartum.  Woman also tend to have larger social networks, so we have more people to lean on when things get bad.  I find it interesting that you admit "that sometimes I am jealous of woman getting better treatment from society".  I have also thought the same of men.  It seems as though the "grass is always greener on the other side".  I also think that some of us have figured out how to best use society to our own advantage. 

I've always been told that I'm "cute".  I am a 31 year old female, who looks about 21 - 25 (I just got carded this eveing when I went to buy wine.)  I've discovered that I can use this to my advantage or let it piss me off.  So, when the mood strikes I'll bat my eyes and let some guy "help" me change my tire or check my oil - eventhough I am completely capable of both.  I figure he gets a cheap thrill and I get something accomplished for free and without getting dirty.  tongue   

Have a good night!

  

 


tymaboy
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 3/14/2006 5:02 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree with you. & Yes Us women can get away with quite a bit if we "flirt" or play "stupid", "bat our eye lashes" (all very degrating us women) But you also have to keep in mind that when going car shopping or to the mechanic they always want to talk to they guy or any "big purchases". Plus it is still the men who have the high paying jobs even if the women has the same job as a man - te man still gets paid more. Atleast here where I live.

els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 3/14/2006 6:54 PM (GMT -7)   

Exactly my point.  Even in my job and being supervisor of RCF's for the mentally ill.  My employee's most of them men I had to work harder to get them to do their jobs and follow the rules that I set forth as they didnt feel that they should have to listen to me.  I have been in my position for over 11 years.  Also I have taken my SUV to the mechanics and was told once to have my husband call them, like they didnt want to deal with me only a man.  I just took my truck and walked out. 

Granted some women do get away with a lot and as Sadsong said can play on their looks to get what they want, I wont say I havent done this at times and most likely will again but it is a man driven world. 


~elisha
 


Glenniem
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 3/15/2006 5:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Gotta go along with jjjjj here. I cannot use my gender to my advantage. I am 5'7", 41 yrs old,
and shy as hell. I cannot do anything the stereoypes say I can do. Women can ask for help. Men are supposed to provide answers.
I must say I have been struggling with the masculinity thing for years and I think I am a great person but not a great man.
Saying it is a man driven world is generally correct, but I don't know these men.

jjjjj
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 3/15/2006 12:03 PM (GMT -7)   
This is a very touchy subject. In the past I have brought it up around different people and most times it was not a good idea. If there are women present they will say how women have it harder and then we will debate and argue back and forth and the women usually ends up very angry with me. Even if I bring it up with all men half the time they think I am full of crap. Maybe I am.

Everyone is different. I am not saying that women have life easier in general than men because there is no way of knowing.

There are things that I see where women get short changed and women can talk about them. If I see a talk show or a friend of mines wife or a relative these women can talk about how they have it hard in society being women. It seems like if I say anything about how men are short changed these women have to tell me I am wrong and make me feel guilty for even bringing it up. Could you imagine a talk show where men are talking about what is wrong with women?

Taking crying for example. A woman can cry in almost any setting. Even a man with depression crying he is looked down on. I won't even cry around my parents if I can help it.

I am jealous of women and it is something I am gonna have to work through that is all. It does really bother me sometimes. I don't mean to lash out at anyone but it does make me angry. It is part of my depression.  Maybe it is something that is not even real and I just created it so I could blame society for my depression in some way, I don't know.  I do want to talk about it here because it seems I can not talk about it anywhere else.  Even when I went to therapists the female one seemed to get very angry with me when I brought it up so then I asked for a male one and he did not even want to touch the subject he would change the subject or just get angry with me.

Post Edited (jjjjj) : 3/15/2006 12:08:13 PM (GMT-7)


Lynnwood
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7019
   Posted 3/15/2006 12:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Since your initial comment included a depression example, let me tell you this.

Suppose you have a really hard to diagnois illness like lupus -- symptoms are vague and murky and vary all the time. I can't tell you how many (hundreds) of women I have met who spent years trying to get Drs to take the symptoms seriously. Instead, we were told it was depression, take this pill and it will fix everything. Well, obviously when you have an actual disease that doesn't work.

A man goes in with the same symptoms -- funny, but men w/lupus get diagnosed in about 2 yrs, while w/women that avg is 10-12 yr. What does that tell you??

It tells me that head doctors are in a whole different class than physical doctors --- and that women are automatically branded depressed reguardless of the situation.

Trust me, that isn't anything to be jealous of!!! We are jealous that you are taken more seriously in the world overall!!

Lynnwood

SLE,  mild Sjogren's Syndrome, mild Raynaud's Syndrome, SAD, Depression, Herpes Simplex 1

Piroxicam, Plaquenil, Imuran, Prednisone, Xanax, Trazodone, Fosamax, Wellbrutrin SR, Valtrex

Clickable:  LUPUS INFORMATION & LUPUS RESOURCES.


Lynnwood
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7019
   Posted 3/15/2006 12:23 PM (GMT -7)   
enabling email notification of replies (i hope)

els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 3/15/2006 4:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Ok jjjjj,  I think I can see where you are going with this now.  You feel that your being a man that your treatment is less than a women's would be.  You are not taken as serouisly,  and this makes feel you jealous.  You cant show your true feelings.  I hope I am not over stepping here?  Everyone communicates differantly and this is what is going to make or break your thearpy sessions.  Statics do show that women tend to seek counseling more than men.  Women do also tend to talk and analize their feelings quite a bit more than men also.  Yes there was a time when it was unexectable for men to cry and express their feelings however, times have changed and men have evolved in more feeling creatures.  I am not so sure that women have been the ones that have caused this divide though.  Women are most likely to go to the doctor and get treatment so should we be persucuted for this?  For trying to help ourselves?  Maybe you can elaborate more on this jjjjj so we can try to understand what you are saying?



~elisha
 

Post Edited (els) : 3/15/2006 4:14:42 PM (GMT-7)


Sadsong
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 3/15/2006 7:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Again, I'd have to agree with you jjjjj. This is a very charged topic - thanks for bringing it up! I just love debating stuff like this. When I read your post one of my favorite songs came to mind - it's by Dar Williams and she sings about being a tomboy remembering how she was a "boy riding topless on her bike" and how she eventually sees the world as others see it by "going into a clothing store where the sign says less is more". The song continues with her confiding in a man walking her home, because "it's not safe and someone should guide me" by saying that "I have lost and you have won". In which, the man responds by saying that "when I was a girl, me and my mom could always talk and I picked flowers every where that I walked. I've lost some of my kindness. I could cry whenever I wanted to, but even now even I'm alone I don't". I think that song really captures some of the social constrictions that are placed on men and women and it also highlights the strengths and weakness of living within these gender defined stereotypes.

I also think that both men and women's gender roles have changed over time, but as far as dealing with depression - I could see how it would be more difficult for males. Take the first step, acknowledging there is a problem that is out of your own control. I will be the first to admit that there is a stigma (either real or imagined) associated with seeing a therapist for a mental illness. Add to that the pressure that men have to "be men", in which they are not suppose to show any signs of weakness. Or they face the ultimate insult of being called "a girl".

Okay, I'll stop there but I could keep debating either side all night long. Thanks again for starting this thread! :)

jjjjj
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 3/15/2006 10:54 PM (GMT -7)   
els I do not think that women are the ones who caused the divide, it is probably both men and women. Maybe even more men's fault. No women should not be persacuted for seeking treatment.

I like the spirit of your post Sadsong. This is an interesting issue for me also. It is clear to me that both sexes suffer from cultural boundaries.

Again I am not out to offend or hurt anyone.

Getting women's perspectives is helpful and I appreciate it. Keep the posts coming and tell me what you think.

Glenniem
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 3/16/2006 5:22 AM (GMT -7)   
I got one more dig, then I'll leave this alone.
In a general sense a man, according to nothing written down, has the stigma of providing protection. A woman asks a man (say it's me) to walk her to her car in a questionable neighborhood. In reality, numbers works better, but having a man is a plus. Usually the mindset here is that the man adds protection, which he does to some degree, and he knows he carries the task of doing so. In the end he is as helpless as four people when the perpetrator has a gun. Failed goal.

I think it's important to remember that each gender, every person, has their cross to bear, and some hide it better than others.
It's how we choose to carry it, drag it, that makes life bearable for that person.

els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 3/16/2006 7:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Very well said Glenniem....

~elisha
 


Sadsong
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 3/16/2006 6:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi jjjjj -

It's too bad that more folks cannot openly discuss this topic without getting emotional or confrontational. This topic reminds me of a discussion I was having at a BBQ on the 4th of July. I was debating with one of my aunt's brother-in-laws about forest management - he worked in the paper industry and I am an environmental planner. He took the position that we should keep forests as natural as possible, so I took the opposite position, since as I mentioned in an earlier post I really enjoy debating. Anyways, when I was getting ready to leave, I mentioned that I was an environmental planner and that I was actually in favor of "managing" forests for ecological purposes. Needless to say, he was shocked. He had never met anyone who could articulate the opposing viewpoint so passionately.

I guess that is just one of the lesson's I've learned over time. "You can never defeat your enemies if you don't fully understand and respect their opinions". Perhaps, there is an additional lesson there that can be applied to depression as well. "All those who struggle with depression can learn from each other to begin to teach those who have never had to experience it."
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