Clinicians have been advised to be on ‘very high’ alert for depression in men, especially those who present to their GP frequently.

‘She’ll be right.’

‘Men don’t go to the doctor.’

‘Blokes don’t talk about it.’

When it comes to Australian men and their mental health, these are the kinds of stereotypical attitudes that have pervaded.

But new research, published in the British Medical Journal Open, shows that men not only go to the doctor, they do so in droves.

Yet despite seeking care from their GP, men with depression are slipping through the cracks, with only half of those experiencing symptoms receiving a diagnosis.

For the study, researchers monitored the healthcare habits of 1500 Australian men aged 35–80 for five years, and found that the majority visited their GP at least once a year.

The participants also filled in questionnaires about depression symptoms and the results showed that 46% of men with a high burden of depression symptoms went to their GP five or more times a year, compared to only 29% of those with minimal symptoms.

Researcher Gary Wittert is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Adelaide and Director of the Freemason’s Centre for Male Health and Wellbeing at the South Australia Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).

He told newsGP this research helps dispel the myth that Australian men do not see their GP.

Article originally published by NewsGP on the 6th April 2021. To read the full article click here.