People of all gender identities, men and women, may experience the same symptoms. depression at some point in their lives. Depression is a serious condition which can impact how you think, feel, and act.
According to data Trusted Source from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women seem to experience depression at a higher rate than men. However, it’s thought that men may be underrepresented in these numbers.
It could be because of a combination of biological and social factors that make it harder to diagnose and treat depression in men. They may feel irritable or anxious. culturally pressured to act “manly” by hiding their emotions.
Because of this, it’s more common for men to have depression with symptoms that are different and sometimes harder to identify.
If you suspect that you or someone close to you may be suffering from depression, you should read the following: Signs and symptoms of depression in men and what you can try next.
Men with depression may experience physical symptoms
Depression can be felt first by men who are depressed. physical effects. Depression is often thought of as a mental illness, but it can also manifest in your body.
Many men are more likely Trusted Source to visit their doctors for physical issues than for emotional issues.
Some of the most common signs of depression among men are:
- chest tightness
- Digestive problems such as gas, diarrhea, constipation
- erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems
- hormonal issues like low testosterone
- racing heart, or heart palpitations
- unintended weight loss (and sometimes weight gain)
Mental symptoms of depression in men
Mental symptoms of depression may present differently in men than they do in people of other genders, which can make depression harder to detect.
These symptoms may interfere with the way a person thinks and processes information, affecting behavior and emotions.
Some of the most common mental symptoms of depression in men include:
- inability to concentrate
- memory problems
- obsessive-compulsive thought patterns
- racing thoughts
- sleep issues, usually difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- suicidal thoughts
Emotional symptoms of depression in men
When most people hear the word “depression,” they think of a person who seems very sad. However, sadness is just one of many possible emotions depression can cause.
In addition to sadness, men may experience the following emotional symptoms of depression:
- emotional withdrawal from friends, family, and colleagues
- lack of interest in family, community, hobbies, and work
- lack of libido
Behavioral signs of depression in men
The mental, physical, and emotional symptoms of depression in men can also affect behavior. Because some men resist discussing their emotions, it’s often their behavioral symptoms of depression that are most apparent to others.
In men, the behavioral symptoms of depression most commonly include:
- difficulty meeting work, family,Other personal responsibilities
- drug misuse
- drinking alcohol in excess
- engaging in risky activities, such as driving recklessly or having unprotected sex
- social isolation
- suicide attempts
Why can depression go undiagnosed in men?
While discussions around mental health seem to be expanding in reach and compassion, there’s still some cultural and social stigma around depression— particularly among men.
Generally, men are socialized by society to hold in their emotions, though we know doing so isn’t healthy. In their efforts to maintain these social norms, many men may be compromising their emotional, physical, and mental well-being.
In addition, many men are never taught to recognize the less typical signs of depression that they’re more likely than others to experience.
Some men never seek help for their depression because they never recognize the signs. On the other hand, some men who do recognize the signs may struggle to discuss their experience because they fear the judgment of others.
As a result, when many men experience the signs of depression, they begin to work long hours or otherwise fill their time to stay busy, instead of addressing the depression itself.
Diagnosing depression and seeking treatment can help save lives. Suicide rates Trusted Source are high among men, especially those who have served or currently serve in the military. Additionally, men are three to four times more likely than women to complete suicide.
In continuing to open up the conversation, we can help men with depression recognize the signs. By seeking treatment, men with depression can live their fullest possible lives.
What are the current treatment options?
Depression is most often treated with talk therapy, medications, or both of these things together. A healthcare professional can help create a personalized treatment plan that works best for you.
Many men begin treatment for moderate cases of depression by scheduling an appointment with a talk therapist (psychotherapist). From there, the therapist might suggest specific types of care, such as:
- cognitive behavioral therapy
- interpersonal therapy
- problem-solving therapy
- psychodynamic therapy
From there, medication may be added, if needed.
However, for more severe cases, medication might be prescribed right away to help alleviate some of the physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral symptoms of depression. This may be the case for someone with Suicidal thoughts or who has attempted suicide.
Antidepressants like paroxetine (Paxil) or sertraline (Zoloft) are commonly used to treat depression. However, a mental healthcare professional may also suggest other medications.
Be aware that these medications often take several weeks to monthsOder begin making a noticeable difference in the way you feel. Follow the treatment plan and be patient.
When is it appropriate to seek assistance
If you’re experiencing one or more of the above symptoms of depression to the point that it interferes with your daily life, consider scheduling an appointment to meet with a mental health counselor.
These counseling is covered by most insurance plans. Receiving care is discreet and confidential.
Although conversations about mental illness have been more open and inclusive in recent years, many men still struggle to express their emotions in a society that is still influenced by traditional male views.
It can also be difficult to spot the signs and symptoms of depression among men. This is because they are affected by the same social factors as their biology.
Sharing information about the symptoms and signs of depression in men can help us to create a path toward better, more inclusive mental care.
Depression can be managed with medication or talk therapy.