Depression is one of the most common psychiatric disorders across the globe. Major depressive disorder is regarded as the fourth highest cause of disability worldwide and the second between the ages of 15 and 44. This mental illness is often associated with psychiatric comorbidities, functional impairment and in severe cases with fatal consequences. Recent research findings have reported that the incidence of depression peaks in the 20s age range, an age group that faces certain unique vulnerabilities within industrialised societies. Comparatively little research attention has been directed to men with depression, and less so towards a male population between their late adolescence and mid to late 20s. The extant published research of depression among this population remain scattered and unintegrated. Hence, a meta-ethnography was conducted to synthesise existing literature about the experience of male tertiary students with depression. Five primary qualitative research studies were analysed with this qualitative meta-synthesis approach. The data analysis produced three overarching themes within these men s experiences with depression, namely semblance of strength, behind the mask and redefining masculinity. The first theme was associated to three subthemes, namely indifference to pain, the angry man and the self-managed man. The second theme was also related to three subthemes, namely absent help-seeking, masking depression and pain behind the mask. The first two themes are strongly related phenomena and often emanate from similar prevailing ideals of masculinity. Whereas, the third theme stands separately in that it represents a move away from a more commonly held sense of masculinity, to one that allowed some individuals to respond to depression in a different manner.
Mini Dissertation (MA)--University of Pretoria, 2015.