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Anxiety and Stress Management

with Patricia A. Farrell, PhD

This blog has been retired. We appreciate all the wisdom and support Dr. Farrell has brought to the WebMD community.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Depression for Women, Alcohol for Men

A study which appear in the July issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research has added some interesting new insights into the ways that women and men handle stress. It seems that men seek the stress-reduction method of alcohol consumption while women become depressed.

Why might this be? The researchers think it’s because men, perhaps, have been socialized to use alcohol or that there are, seemingly, gender-specific brain stress pathways that differ in the sexes. One researcher, however, said she thought it was because women tend to think about negative experiences more while men use distraction techniques, such as alcohol, to calm themselves.

So, is it biological or learned? Perhaps, as in most research findings, a little of both and it indicates that we may need to do a better job of helping men and women learn healthier ways to cope.

Is alcoholism or addiction an issue in your family? We’ve got support for you on our Addiction and Substance Abuse support group.

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Posted by: Patricia Farrell, PhD at 7:00 am

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