Although the primary symptom of depression for many people is often a feeling of sadness, men may be more prone to feeling angry, exhibiting aggressive emotions, and engaging in substance abuse than women. Is.
Because of the variety of symptoms, and because men are generally less likely than women to talk about depression and seek treatment, many men may go undiagnosed.
In this article, we explore the emotional, behavioral, and physical symptoms of depression in men. We also discuss how to get help. Read on to learn how to recognize and overcome depression in men.
Men and Depression
Depression is common in men. According to the American Psychological Association, an estimated 9 percent of men in the United States suffer from depression or anxiety every day, and 30.6 percent of men experience an episode of depression during their lifetime.
Depression is a mood disorder that affects a person’s thoughts, feelings, body and behavior. Doctors may call depression major depression, major depressive disorder, or clinical depression.
Depression is more common in women, affecting 10.4 percent of women compared to 5.5 percent of men in the U.S. However, the number of men who die by suicide is four times higher than that of women.
One reason for this may be that men are less likely to be diagnosed with depression. Depression is a significant risk factor for suicide.
Understanding how symptoms of depression may differ between men and women. This can help people become aware of depression in themselves and their loved ones. Recognizing depression is the first step toward recovery.
Symptoms in Men and Women
Some symptoms of depression are similar in men and women. These include:
- Feeling sad, tearful, low, guilty, or empty
- Loss of enjoyment in pleasurable activities
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Too little or too much sleep
- Feeling irritable or tired
- Difficulty concentrating
Not everyone with depression will experience all of these symptoms.
Some symptoms of depression affect men more than women, which may be due to genetic, hormonal, biochemical or social factors. We look at depression in men in more detail below.
Behavioral Signs in Men
Behavioral symptoms of depression may manifest differently in men and women. For example, alcohol and drug use affect men with depression more than women, and men are more likely than women to exhibit anger attacks and risk-taking behavior.
Men with depression may notice the following behavioral changes:
- Excessive drinking or drug use
- Avoiding family or social situations
- Working obsessively without proper breaks
- Finding it difficult to keep up with work or family responsibilities
- Becoming more controlling or abusive in relationships
- Engaging in risk-taking behavior, such as gambling or having unprotected sex
- Suicide attempt
One theory is that these behavioral changes result from men trying to hide their depression and adhere to so-called “masculine norms.” This attempt to hide depression can cause men to kill or engage in self-destructive behaviors.
Men with depression may also lose interest in their hobbies and interests or feel less motivated to succeed at work.
Depression can also affect a man’s sex drive. Men with depression may have less interest in sex and may have problems with sexual performance.
Emotional Signs in Men
Some men find it easier to discuss physical symptoms than mood swings. However, there is a close connection between mind and body. It is very important to share all symptoms with the doctor, even if they are insignificant or unrelated.
Depression affects the emotional state of both men and women, causing low mood.
Women with depression may express it as sadness, but some men are apparently less comfortable expressing this emotion. Therefore, changes in their emotional state may manifest in other ways.
Early symptoms of depression in men may include:
Physical Signs in Men
Depression is a mental health condition, but it also has physical symptoms. Men with depression may experience:
- Tightness in the chest
- Pain in the joints, limbs, or back
- Digestive problems
- Too much or too little sleep
- Feeling anxious or worried
- Eating too much or too little
- Unintentional weight loss
Some of these symptoms may be caused by the way depression affects a person’s brain chemicals. Depression alters levels of serotonin and norepinephrine, brain messengers that regulate pain and mood. Common brain cell pathways may link depression and pain.
Why is Depression in Men Often Undiagnosed?
According to 2013-2016 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women are almost twice as likely to experience major depression as men. However, it is likely that more men than women refrain from reporting depression, so the figure for men may be higher.
By some estimates, two-thirds of people with depression in the United States are undiagnosed.
A doctor may also misdiagnose depression in men. Men are more likely to report physical symptoms, such as difficulty sleeping, than emotional changes. As a result, doctors may misdiagnose them.
Additionally, people may misinterpret common emotional or behavioral symptoms of depression in men. They may see anger as a personality trait rather than a symptom of depression. They may also misunderstand the reasons for a person’s increased risk-taking behavior or substance use.
How to Help a Loved One with Depression
If a person notices symptoms of depression in a close male friend, partner, or family member, it is important to discuss it with them. Asking someone who may be experiencing depression how they are feeling is a great first step. It is important to strive to be a good listener.
Next, encourage them to make an appointment with their doctor. If they are uncomfortable talking about how they feel emotionally, remind them that they can start by talking about physical symptoms, which often lead to a broader discussion about other symptoms. cause
Patience is important when helping someone with depression. Sometimes behavioral symptoms of depression in men can cause relationship difficulties. Try to discuss issues in a non-judgmental manner. A relationship counselor can help people improve their communication.