Men who fail to progress up the social ladder take the blow much harder than women tend to suffer more from their drop in status than women who succumb to the same misfortune, a British study said on Thursday.
Men who experienced a downward social shift were four times more likely to feel depressed than men who improved their social status, whereas there was no marked difference in the mental health between women who moved up or down the social ladder, according to research from Britain's Newcastle University.
Women in the study were actually twice as likely to be downwardly mobile but generally avoided the depression and poor psychological wellbeing shown by men, the study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health said.
The researchers used the occupation of the head of the household as the marker for social status and surveyed men and woman born in 1947 in the industrial town of Newcastle in north east England.
"It's possible that this reaction is typical of this post-war generation, where the man expected to be the main breadwinner of the household and took a significant knock to his self-esteem when he was not able to achieve this," said one of the study's authors, Dr Mark Pearce, reports Reuters.
According to BBC, the study authors said it was possible that the women were more emotionally resilient to this type of situation.
Alternatively, Dr Pearce said: "It's possible that this reaction is typical of this post-war generation, where the man expected to be the main breadwinner of the household and took a significant knock to his self-esteem when he was not able to achieve this.
"Women, on the other hand, perhaps viewed having a successful family life as more important than their careers."
Dr Tiffin, who also works as an NHS psychiatrist, added: "Our findings do suggest that it's important for governments and other agencies to consider the wider effect of mass redundancies and drastic economic changes.
"The tendency is to focus on the financial losses that workers and their families experience but this research shows that the psychological effects should be equally taken into account and acted upon."
Sophie Corlett from the mental health charity Mind said: "It's all too easy to overlook men's mental health.
"Recent studies suggest that men are just as likely as women to experience depression, yet less likely to seek medical attention.