Following the revelations this weekend by David Blunkett and Alastair Campbell that they have suffered from depression, the chair of the all-party group on men's health has said that a stigma around depression remains.
The problem is particularly difficult for young male sufferers, Dr Howard Stoate told BBC Radio 4's Today programme, who often have trouble seeking medical help.
He commented that because it is a disease of the mind – the "very essence of what makes you a person" – people can find it more difficult to discuss that physical conditions.
"Some people are very affected. They find it difficult to go to their doctor and they don't necessarily find the health services available very suitable for their needs and many people just push it under the carpet," said Dr Stoate.
"That is why suicide is the commonest cause of death among young men."
He continued: "I am very pleased indeed that very senior politicians have come out over the weekend and admitted that they have had problems. That will make it easier for people to come forwards."
The comments have been made to coincide with World Mental Health Day 2006, which will be held tomorrow.
A second paper given at the same conference has suggested that antioxidants produced during exercise may be one of the contributors to a good defence mechanism.