Depression in Men - How it’s Different and Ways to Get Help

Depression in men is a topic that is important as men are societally classified as strong and are burdened with the task of taking care of their families without complaint. However, men are immune to mental health issues, including depressive disorders. In fact, according to statistics by the AMA Journal of Ethics, men are diagnosed with depression half as much as women. But, they die of suicide by up to 4 times as much as women. This illuminates the fact that men aren’t getting the help they need for depression and as a result, are dying. There are a number of reasons why men don’t get the help they need, but if you are the loved one of a man who is struggling with depression, you may be wondering what you can do to help.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression in Men

Knowing more about the signs and symptoms of depression in men can help loved ones identify whether or not their loved one may be struggling with depression. This way, they can develop a plan to get their loved one the help they need. Some of the signs and symptoms of depression in men can include:

  • anger and irritability
  • self-destructive behaviors
  • mood swings
  • substance abuse
  • aggression
  • isolation and avoidance

Symptoms of depression in men can look different than in women, which contributes to why men may not get the depression help they need. This is because men may be misdiagnosed as symptoms of depression in women and can appear much differently (low mood, sadness, exhaustion). It can be helpful to know that symptoms of depression in men can look different than those women can experience so that men can advocate for themselves and their mental health care planning.

Along with the above signs and symptoms of depression, men who are living with depression can also experience physical symptoms associated with depression. These can include:

  • migraines and headaches
  • not sleeping enough or sleeping too much
  • stomach pains and other digestive issues
  • impotence

Identifying Causes of Depression in the Male Population

The causes of depression can vary greatly, but the causes of depression are not gender-specific. Some of the reasons individuals, including men, may be at a higher risk of developing a depressive disorder include:

  • experiencing abuse as a child including neglect, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, etc.
  • using addictive substances or growing up in a household of family members abusing addictive substances
  • not having access to healthy coping skills for negative emotions
  • not having a supportive network of community, leading to isolation from others
  • a lack of purpose in one’s life (especially for older individuals)

Help for Men Living With Depression

If you or a loved one is living with the debilitating effects of depression, the best thing to do is reach out to professionals for help. Treatment services and programs are available to provide men living with depression with the tools they need to manage depressive disorders. And, reduce the impact of symptoms of depression.

Delray Center for Healing offers a number of outpatient treatment services aimed at healing depressive disorders including DBT, CBT, family therapy, brain-based treatments, mindfulness, yoga, and much more. Find out more about our depression programs and services on our website.