A new study finds that more than half of men in the United States have a major depressive episode, but that only 4 percent of women have a depressive episode.
According to the study, published online by The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), about half of these men suffer from PTSD, while just 1 percent of men and 1 percent to 2 percent of female sufferers have major depressive disorder.
The researchers found that, overall, men have about twice as many depressive episodes as women, and that nearly 4 percent more men have PTSD than women.
However, the study did not differentiate between major depressive episodes among men who had no prior history of mental health problems, and those who had a history of psychological disorders, such as depression, anxiety or PTSD.
According the authors, the results suggest that the prevalence of depression and PTSD among men has been underestimated and that it is not solely a problem of poor mental health care.
However, the researchers said that it remains important for men to be treated for their symptoms of depression or PTSD, and suggested that the results of the study should be taken as an important step toward addressing the growing prevalence of mental disorders in the U.S.
The authors of the new study, Dr. Michael Bies, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania, said that they found the prevalence to be higher among males than females, and recommended that more attention be paid to this population.
Bies and his colleagues surveyed more than 1,000 male college students and compared them with about 7,000 female students who were between the ages of 18 and 25.
They found that nearly a quarter of male college seniors had a depressive disorder and nearly a third had PTSD.
But only about 1 percent (or 6.6 percent) of female college seniors suffered from major depressive disorders.
Dr. Bies and the other researchers said there were significant differences between men and women in their symptoms.
Women tended to have more symptoms, such for major depressive symptoms and anxiety.
They were also more likely to report having attempted suicide, and were less likely to have experienced a lifetime of abuse or neglect.
While both genders suffered from PTSD and depression, the prevalence rates were significantly higher among men, the authors said.
They added that, for the first time, they found that men with a history in a mental health institution were more likely than women to have PTSD.
This finding could have significant implications for the mental health services and mental health treatment of men, who have a higher rate of mental illness and are at increased risk for substance abuse, the report states.
The study also found that while men were more than twice as likely as women to be diagnosed with major depressive illness, they were less than half as likely to be found to have a PTSD diagnosis.
The findings are based on self-report data and on the self-reports of participants in a survey, the scientists said.
More news from The Next World: