How Men Experience Depression
According to various statistics, between 5-10% of men in the United States experience depression on a daily basis. However, overall men tend to seek treatment much less than women so that number is likely even higher. Depression in men also presents differently than in women, and so recognizing what you’re going through as depression may be more complicated. Depression impacts men in so many ways. It can cause you to have issues at work with getting things done on time and being motivated to complete your daily tasks. Depression also causes problems in relationships, as men tend to become more withdrawn and isolated. It can also take its toll on your physical health too, as when you’re depressed you just don’t care as much about how you look or how you treat your body. Depression is a significant issue in men, and hopefully this article will help you understand the signs and symptoms of depression in men even better.
What Depression Looks Like in Males
As indicated above, depression can and usually does look different in men than with women. Mood-wise, males tend to exhibit more of an irritable mood, with a shorter temper and will get annoyed more easily. Women tend to use and embody the word “depressed” more often when describing their mood, but men will deny feeling depressed and instead use other words to label how you are feeling. Men also tend to blame how they are feeling on external factors, such as job stress, or problems in your relationships, or financial stressors. Of course, these stressors may be very real and impacting how you are feeling, but men in general tend to identify these stressors as the primary triggers for what you are experiencing.
Perhaps you are having more arguments with your partner or wife, or have less bandwidth to deal with the demands of your children. You no longer enjoy doing certain things like taking your pet on a walk, and things like that start to slide. You may start to withdrawn more from your support system and stop answering calls or requests to get together. You start to feel lonely, and isolated, but at the same time don’t want to be around anyone anymore. Everything little thing starts to annoy you, and you are spending more and more time alone with your negative thoughts. It is also likely that you are increasing your use of alcohol or marijuana, to a higher level than previously, as it helps to numb you out. If you’re experiencing some of these things, you may have male depression.
Symptoms of Depression in Men
Officially, the symptoms of depression in males are the same as those in females. However, men tend to show and experience your symptoms differently. And as always, each man will have his unique way of experiencing and expressing these symptoms. Here is a list of common depression symptoms in men:
Irritable, angry, or even aggressive mood
Feeling restlessness with no sense of relief
Excessive anxiety or worry
Lack of interest in work, family, or friends
Increased work-related stress
Decreased interest in sexual activities
Feeling empty, sad, or hopeless
Difficulty sleeping and feeling tired
Changes in eating habits (more or less than normal)
Thoughts of dying, of suicide, or of not being here anymore
This is not a full list of all depression symptoms that men experience, but if you are experiencing a large number of these symptoms for longer than a few weeks at a time, you may have depression. Depression impacts your ability to think, feel, and handle your everyday life challenges, and hurts not only you, but others around you.
Treatment Options for Depression in Men
Unfortunately, so many men suffer depression in silence, without telling anyone how they are feeling or seeking help. But depression is so treatable, it is in fact one of the most treatable mental health issues. There are different ways to seek out extra help and support, and here are a few:
Tell a friend or loved one how you’re feeling, what you’re noticing about yourself, and what is different
Call your doctor to schedule an appointment to be seen for depression
Consider online counseling if your schedule or work is already tight
Join a men’s group to connect with other like-minded peers
You do not have to suffer alone. Remember that up to 10% of men are also experiencing depression, so depression in males is more common than you think. There are treatment options out there that will fit your schedule and your values. You deserve to get back to your old self, to feel better, and to Rediscover Your Everyday Joy. Depression is something that happens to you, it’s not who you are, and you can recover from your depression.
How We Can Help
If you are suffering from depression or anxiety, or if you would like to talk to someone more about how we can help you, follow these simple steps:
Contact us today for a free 20-minute phone consultation
Begin your journey towards a calmer, more relaxing life
Other Therapy Services Available at Catalyss Counseling:
Here at Catalyss Counseling, we want to meet all of your counseling needs in the Denver area. Our supportive therapists provide depression counseling, therapy for caregiver stress, grief and loss therapy, stress management counseling and more. We also have specialists in trauma and PTSD, women's issues, pregnancy and postpartum depression or anxiety, pregnancy loss and miscarriage, and birth trauma. For therapists, we can also provide clinical supervision! We look forward to connecting with you to help support your journey today.
Shannon Heers is a psychotherapist, guest blogger, and owner of Catalyss Counseling in Englewood, CO. Shannon helps adults in professional careers manage anxiety, depression, work-life balance, and grief and loss. Follow Catalyss Counseling on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.