Working-Age Northeastern Thai Males’ Perception of Causes of Depression
Keywords:male, masculinity, major depressive disorder, gender
Objective: To explain causes of depression as perceived by working-age Northeastern Thai males.
Design: Qualitative research
Methodology: This study was conducted in Khon Kaen province during March 2019 to April 2020 on 23 working-age Northeastern Thai males diagnosed with major depressive disorders. These key informants were recruited by means of purposive sampling, the main inclusion criteria being (i) male, (ii) aged between 18 and 59 years, and (iii) without severe mental symptoms. Data were collected using in-depth interviews, which were audio-recorded. Content analysis based on Colaizzi’s approach was employed to analyse the data.
Results: In the working-age Northeastern Thai males’ perception, depression resulted from a number of causes, namely, 1) failure to succeed in their expected roles; 2) failure to build financially secure families; 3) relationship problems with life partners; 4) feeling that their lives were being controlled; and 5) childhood abuse.
Recommendations: Masculinity is linked to the causes of male depression. Therefore, development of male depression prevention approaches requires educating the public, especially men, to realise the effects of rigidly fixated ideas of masculinity on occurrence of depression. In addition, there is an urgent need to develop gender-sensitive psychosocial interventions and to promote greater ﬂexibility in the perception of gender norms and roles.
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