Depression in Men – More Common than You Think

Depression in MenAccording to the Mayo Clinic, we diagnose depression in men half as often as women. Women may be more susceptible to depression due to the hormonal changes that occur in women over their lifespan. But perhaps we miss male depression for a couple of reasons:

  • Men are less likely to seek help
  • Depression in men exhibits differently than in women.

When someone feels sad, disappointed, or feeling lonely or hurt, we say they are depressed. In this context, we are referring to a common mood state that means someone is unhappy. However, Major Depressive Disorder is a mental health disorder defined as meeting at least 5 of the following criteria for a period of more than two weeks:

  • Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day
  • Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day
  • Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain. Or a decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day
  • Sluggishness or slowing down of thoughts and a reduction of physical movement that is observable by others
  • Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day
  • Suicide attempt, a specific plan for suicide, recurrent thoughts of death, or recurrent thoughts of suicide without a specific plan.

Depression in Men Looks Different

When a man experiences depression, his behavior could change in atypical ways. Whether due to cultural expectations or not, men do not display sadness or express feelings of guilt as readily as women. Instead, depressed males may do the following things:

  • Become more easily irriated or angry
  • Bcome more controlling, violent, or abusive
  • Escape into other activites such as work, sports, or computer games
  • Complain more about physical problems like headaches, digestive issues, or pain in general
  • Abuse alcohol or drugs
  • Engage in other risky behaviors.

Male Depression – Seeking Help

Men find it difficult to ask for help, especially when they are depressed. But taking that first step is critical to making your life and the lives of your loved ones better. We often treat depression “talk therapy” with a licensed professional who can help you sort out and solve problems and help you learn new skills to improve your coping skills. Sometimes you may need to seek medical assistance through prescription medications and supplements.

Contact us at Marietta West Cobb Counseling Center for professional guidance and counseling. We can help you find new and better ways of taking care of yourself and know the value of the life you are living!