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Other Issues

A few other gender-specific issues in approaching depression:

Men and women may express concerns differently. For example, female doctors interviewing male patients may not elicit detailed answers -- decreasing eye-contact and increasing distance from the patient may help the male patient feel more at ease. Female patients may volunteer more emotional information at the outset.

When interviewing women, useful information to elicit includes:

  • Full reproductive history (ie previous depression associated with births, abortion)

  • Intention to become pregnant (may affect compliance with medications)

  • History of abuse (physical, verbal, sexual, childhood)

  • Social context (ie ability to take time away from family/children to attend treatment; ability to manage treatment within the confines of an abusive/controlling relationship).

  • Culture (Depression may be expressed using different types of terminology , depending on the culture)