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Male depression and suicide

Wålinder, Jan*; Rutz, W.

Section Editor(s): Angst, Jules; Sartorius, Norman

International Clinical Psychopharmacology: March 2001 - Volume 16 - Issue - p S21-S24
Suicide: The Differences in Age and Gender: Proceedings from a Lundbeck Institute Symposium Held in Prague, Czech Republic, 28 October - 1 November 2000 within the AEP Congress

Based on the experiences of the Gotland Study that education of general practitioners about depressive illness resulted in a statistically significant reduction in the number of female suicides, leaving the rate of male suicides almost unaffected, we propose the concept of a male depressive syndrome. This syndrome comprises a low stress tolerance, an acting-out behavior, a low impulse control, substance abuse and a hereditary loading of depressive illness, alcoholism and suicide. This notion is supported by data from The Amish study as well as the concept of van Praag of a stress-precipitated, cortisol-induced, serotonin-related and anxiety-driven depressive illness most often seen in males. In order to identify depressed males, the Gotland Male Depression Scale has been developed. Some preliminary data using the scale in a group of alcohol-dependant patients are presented.

*Sahlgrenska University Hospital, 431 80 Mölndal, Sweden and Mental Health, WHO Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark

Correspondence to Professor Jan Wålinder, Department of Psychiatry, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, 431 80 Mölndal, Sweden. Tel: +46 31281056; fax: +46 31685292; e-mail:

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.