Depression in men may include symptoms not normally thought of as the classic depression symptoms. As a result, depression can be difficult to recognize in men. Doctors may also be less likely to suspect it as the root cause of a man's health problems. Men may also not be willing to admit that they are feeling depressed. The condition may be seen as a bad mark for masculinity in men who want to preserve the image of toughness and endurance.
The good new is depression is highly treatable. If you notice any of the following symptoms in yourself or someone else, seek medical help.
Men may act out rather than face underlying problems head on. Here is a list of behaviors in men that may signal depression:
In addition to male associated symptoms, men may also experience classic symptoms:
Some men may exhibit more symptoms than others.
Untreated depression has been linked to suicide. Men die by suicide more often than women, even though women make more suicide attempts. This could relate to the fact that women seek help more than men do or that men choose more lethal means.
Suicidal thoughts, also known as suicidal ideation, are an emergency. Men may exhibit the following signs:
If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or call for medical help right away.
Depression can be treated. There are many mental health professionals who have a lot of experience working with men who have depression. The first step toward recovery is asking for help.
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression
Canadian Psychiatric Association
Canadian Psychological Association
Depression. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated October 30, 2014. Accessed February 11, 2015.
Depression and men fact sheet. National Alliance on Mental Illness website. Available at: http://www.nami.org/PrinterTemplate.cfm?Section=Depression&Template=/ContentManagement/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=89095. Updated October 2009. Accessed February 11, 2015.
Depression in men. Help Guide website. Available at: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_men_male.htm. Updated November 2014. Accessed February 11, 2015.
Men and depression. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/men-and-depression/index.shtml. Accessed February 11, 2015.
Suicide. Menstuff website. Available at: http://www.menstuff.org/issues/byissue/suicide.html. Accessed February 11, 2015.
Suicide. Women's Health—US Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/mens-health/top-health-concerns-for-men/suicide.html. Updated January 10, 2011. Accessed February 11, 2015.
Last reviewed February 2015 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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