Flat Preloader Icon

Over 17.3 million American adults are affected by major depressive disorder. While more prevalent in women, men are also susceptible to  developing depression.

Coping with depression happens differently for everyone, and you or someone you know may be suffering without the tools or skills to fight it. Therefore, it is important to understand the signs and symptoms of depression in men

Men and Depression

One of the most unfortunate facts about men’s mental wellness is that depression in men often goes undiagnosed for much of men’s lives. Men can suffer from a variety of different depression subtypes such as major depressive disorder or seasonal affective disorder, which can happen due to a combination of factors.

For example, most people may ignore the signs of depression or downplay them, thinking they’re just tired or exaggerating how they feel. 

Since men are often raised to think that it’s “unmanly” to express their emotions, they are more likely to bottle up their emotions or “sweep them under the rug”. Men are therefore also less likely to talk about their depression symptoms with others. This further leads men to avoid seeking out mental health treatment, even if their depression is negatively affecting their lives. 

Emotional Symptoms

Some of the most obvious depression symptoms include those that affect emotion, as these symptoms can present themselves in almost every facet of men’s lives.

For example, men may exhibit increased irritability or anger over seemingly small matters. While confusing for outside observers to understand, this may occur because depression can alter the chemical balance of a portion of the brain that affects anger and irritation.

The same applies to persistent feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness.While it’s completely normal to feel down at times, these feelings should fade or shift over time. If they continue to persist over a prolonged period of time then it’s a likely sign of depression.

Men should also keep track of their interest in various hobbies and social activities, as a sudden loss of interest can be an indicator of depression. This might be the case if these feelings stick around for longer than a few days.

Behavioral Symptoms

Another way to tell if someone is suffering from depression is by a change in their behaviors. 

Someone with depression may withdraw from social situations, or spend an increasing amount of their time alone. These behaviors may be due to the person feeling easily overwhelmed , or feeling like they are not in a good enough mood to be around others. 

Substance abuse can also be utilized as a maladaptive coping mechanism for some men, and they may drink to make social situations easier or to dull their thoughts. 

Additionally, depression can cause severe changes in a person’s sleep patterns. Some people develop insomnia and struggle to sleep, while others find themselves sleeping more than usual. 

People with depression may also find themselves pursuing risky behaviors, such as reckless driving or unsafe sex, as a means to chase away how they feel. People with depression are more likely to engage in these dangerous behaviors because they stop caring as much about the consequences, which can lead to even more unhealthy actions. 

Physical Symptoms 

Many people think that depression is just something that makes a person feel sad, however depression’s symptoms can present themselves in the body as well.

For example, a person might be experiencing depression if they experience a major change in their appetite or weight. Weight gain may mean that a person has been eating more than usual, or that they have not moved around as much, and weight loss may mean that a person has been skipping meals or does not have as much of an appetite.

A person may also suffer from unexplained symptoms such as chronic pain or headaches when they’re depressed. These effects can be explained by a decrease in the chemicals that would normally dull these sensations, which can lead to an increased sensation of aches and pains.

Fatigue is another issue that can impact people with depression. Fatigue may  occur in a person with depression for several different reasons. You’ll want to visit a therapist or doctor to verify the source of your fatigue, as it could be Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Cognitive Symptoms

In addition to physical symptoms, people suffering from depression can also exhibit cognitive symptoms. Since these symptoms present themselves in the way that a person observes and interacts with the world, it can be much harder for other people to notice them.

Some of the cognitive symptoms associated with depression include reduced attention span, impaired memory, executive dysfunction, and a lower processing speed. 

A reduced attention span makes it more challenging to stay focused on tasks. People with reduced attention spans can therefore have difficulty remembering to do certain things or even feel more confused than normal. 

Executive dysfunction causes people increased difficulty in completing tasks. In some cases, people with executive dysfunction may have all the tools available to them but find themselves unable to focus on the task. Therefore, outside observers often consider them lazy or procrastinators. 

When they get around to performing a task, a person with depression can find their thought processes much slower than normal. These symptoms can lead people depression to feel overwhelmed, and potentially give up on tasks altogether.

When to Seek Help

Many men are reluctant to seek mental health treatment due to insecurity regarding their depression. They often feel like they should be able to fix their mood on their own, or that admitting to having emotions is itself emasculating.

However, mental health providers such as therapists and psychologists are trained to deal with a variety of mental health conditions and disorders, and many bring years of experience with them.

Therefore it can be a good idea to schedule a consultation appointment with a mental health provider if you’re experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, even if you’re not sure that depression treatment is your best option. 

Recognize These Signs and Symptoms of Depression in Men

Depression can be an incredibly impactful mental health condition. Therefore, it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression in men so that you can get ahead of depression and not let it affect your life. In doing so, you may also learn better ways to manage your stress levels so that you are proactive in warding off future depression.

Solid Ground Psychotherapy can help you create a fulfilling and balanced life via Telehealth Therapy. My mental health treatment options include therapy for anxiety, stress management, depression, anger management, and more. Book an appointment today to learn more, or schedule an online consultation.