There’s a false concept about clinical depression being a “woman’s disease.” Men, women, and people of all gender identities can experience depression. According to the surveys, over six million men in the United States experience depression each year. Because the thought is that it is a female condition, many men ignore the signs and symptoms of depression. This prevents them from seeking treatment and improving their mental health.
What Is Depression?
It’s possible for everyone to feel sad or irritable at some point in life. These emotions are usually short-lived and go away after a few days. Depression is a serious mood disorder that can cause mild to severe symptoms. It’s a condition that impacts the ability to feel, think, or carry out daily tasks. Clinical psychologists say that the symptoms must linger for at least two weeks to give a clinical diagnosis.
Why Is It Common To Not Recognize Depression In Men?
Psychologists give several reasons as to why people don’t recognize signs of clinical depression in men. The most common reason is because men typically deny having problems because of the notion that they have to “be strong.” Expressing emotion is “largely a feminine trait,” according to most men. In reality, showing emotion is not a sign of weakness; rather, it’s inspiring to be honest about what you’re feeling. Bottling up symptoms of depression can not only worsen mental health, but also impact the body in a negative way.
If you think someone you know or love may be struggling with depression, continue reading to learn about some of the common signs and symptoms that men may experience. Take action and show support because it will only benefit the person in the long run.
Mental Signs Of Depression In Men
It’s possible for men to reveal mental symptoms of depression differently than other people do. This can make depression more difficult to detect. The symptoms may interfere with the way a person thinks or processes information, and may even affect emotions and behavior. Experts agree that the following are the most common mental symptoms of depression in men:
- Racing thoughts
- Inability to concentrate
- Sleep issues (typically difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep)
- Memory problems
- Obsessive-compulsive thought patterns
- Suicidal thoughts
Behavioral Signs Of Depression In Men
Depression can affect mental, physical, and emotional well-being, which can influence behavior. It’s common for some men to resist the urge to discuss their emotions, bottling them up to never share. This can weigh heavy on the mind and cause a person to act out in ways that are out of character. In men, common behavioral symptoms of depression include:
- Drug misuse
- Social isolation
- Difficulty meeting wrk, family, and other personal responsibilities
- Drinking alcohol in excess
- Engaging in risky activities (such as reckless driving)
- Suicide attempts
Physical Signs Of Depression In Men
Depending on the man, physical signs of depression may be more noticeable in the initial stages of depression. Depression is a mental health disorder, but it can also manifest in the body. Statistically, men are more likely to visit doctors for physical issues, as opposed to mental or emotional issues. Many common physical signs of depression in men can include:
- Chest pain (including chest tightness)
- Digestive discomfort (including bloating, gas, and constipation)
- Erectile dysfunction
- Racing hear (heart palpitations)
- Hormonal issues (including low testosterone)
- Unintended weight loss (possibly weight gain)
- General pain
Emotional Signs Of Depression In Men
“Sadness” is often the first word that comes to mind when people think of depression. Sadness is just one of the many emotions that a depressed person can experience. It’s very possible to experience an array of emotions, which may not be characteristic of the depressed person. It’s quite common for emotional signs to include:
- Lack of libido
- Emotional withdrawal from friends, colleagues, or family
- Lack of interest in hobbies, work, or community
Should you identify any of these emotional, physical, mental, or behavioral signs in men, don’t hesitate to ask them how they really feel. Depression is quite common and will continue to negatively affect overall health without addressing it. There are so many treatment options available and you can access them easily. Sharing information about these resources and signs of depression can help pave a new path towards a better, more inclusive mental healthcare system.