Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Mark A. Hector

Committee Members

William Calhoun, Schulyer Huck, Suzanne Kurth


The purpose of this study was to understand and describe the experience of living with depression among a clinical sample of men. In order to participate in this study, men had to (a) define themselves as having depression, (b) be currently receiving psychotherapy for depression, and (c) have been diagnosed with depression by a mental health professional. In addition, men who were diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, or were currently suicidal or psychotic were not eligible for this study.

Ten men participated in phenomenological interviews by describing their experiences with depression. The interviews were transcribed, analyzed using methods developed from Colaizzi (1978), and then presented back to each individual participant for verification of validity.

A thematic structure emerged from this study that contained a ground and five figures, or themes contextualized by that ground. The experience of depression among these men was grounded in feeling out of control. From the ground of out of control, five figural themes emerged: describing, symptoms, recognizing, course, and reactions. Findings are discussed in terms of relevant current research.

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