Men and Depression: Recognizing the Warning Signs

Depression symptoms in men may differ from women's. Men may have anger, show aggressive feelings, and go into substance abuse than women based on a study. Since men rarely talk or seek help for depression, many have undiagnosed cases. 

Learn more about the symptoms and signs you have to look out for to know if your man is feeling depressed. Read on to find out the physical, emotional, and behavioral cues to see if you need to act. 

Symptoms 

Men and women may have the same symptoms of depression. While not everyone will have all the signs, you should address them carefully and respectfully if you see some in your partner. 

  • Agitation or tiredness
  • Feeling sad, low, guilty, tearful, or empty
  • Loss or gain of appetite or weight
  • Not enjoying pleasurable activities
  • Sleep changes 
  • Trouble with concentration

See also: Stress Relievers: 11 Extremely Effective Ways to Gain Relief

depression signs in men, ways to know
(Photo: Unsplash/Fernando @cferdo)

Physical Signs

Mental health also affects men in a physical aspect. Depression affects a person's brain chemicals and changes serotonin and norepinephrine levels, which control pain and mood sensations. Remember, males too can exhibit some, if not all, of the signs listed below. 

  • Changes in eating habits
  • Chest tightness
  • Digestive problems
  • Headaches
  • Joint, limb, or back pain
  • Sleeplessness
  • Tiredness
  • Unintended weight loss

See also: Youth depression: likely caused by early life stress exposure, study proves

Emotional Signs

Women may better show that they are sad when they are depressed as they are generally more emotional than men. However, men may not want to express their feelings due to societal projections that men should handle their emotions better than women. Due to these unfair prejudices, men are sometimes afraid that people will judge them if they are honest about their feelings. As a result, you may notice four changes in your loved one's behavior.

  • Angry
  • Aggressive
  • Frustrated
  • Irritable

Behavioral Signs 

Men may show varied behavioral signs from women. More often, males use alcohol and drugs to help them than women. Due to the so-called "masculine norms," males try to mask sadness by doing self-destructive behaviors. Check if you see any of the signs below. 

  • Avoid family or social gatherings
  • Attempts suicide
  • Could not keep up with work or family
  • Does not want to have sex
  • Drinks more or uses drugs
  • Engages in gambling or unsafe sex
  • Wants to control or abuse partners
  • Works too much and not taking breaks
depression signs in men, ways to know
(Photo: Unsplash/Dollar Gill)

See also: Yoga Improves Symptoms for People with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Study Proves

When should you go to the doctor?

If you find the signs and symptoms matches with your man, it is best to go to the doctor. This way, you could prevent harming the person's well-being. The sooner you have them treated, the lesser chance of handling a more serious problem in the future. 

How is depression treated? 

Many treatment options could cure depression. Your doctor may advise the best one to suit their patient's needs because each person responds differently to each treatment. You could either have medication, talk therapy, or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

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