Medicine

Depression in Men: How to Help Yourself

BY Jaber Posted August 10, 2023 Update August 14, 2023
Depression in Men: How to Help Yourself

Explore the silent struggles of depression in men. Discover coping strategies and support to help break the stigma surrounding men's mental health.



Table of Contents

Additionally, men may not easily talk about their feelings of depression and may not seek treatment, unlike women. As a result, many men may suffer from undiagnosed depression. In this article, we will learn about everything related to depression in men, including emotional, behavioral, and physical symptoms, as well as tips for dealing with depression in men.

Depression in Men: 

Depression is a mood disorder that affects a person's thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and physical health. There are different types of depression, such as major depression, dysthymia, and clinical depression.

Depression is more common in women, affecting 10.4% of women compared to 5.5% of men. However, the number of men who die by suicide is four times higher than the number of women.

Symptoms of depression in men and women may overlap, and include:

  • Feeling sad or crying without reason
  • Loss of pleasure in favorite activities
  • Feeling guilty and helpless
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Feeling tired and exhausted
  • Insomnia or oversleeping

Behavioral signs of depression in men: 

The behavioral signs of depression may appear differently in men and women. These signs and behavioral changes are commonly seen in men with depression, such as:

  • Substance abuse
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Avoiding family or social events
  • Not taking responsibilities at work or home
  • Attempting suicide
  • Neglecting their hobbies and passions
  • Feeling less motivated to succeed at work
  • Sexual performance problems

Studies have shown that these behavioral changes in men occur due to their attempt to hide their depression. Therefore, these self destructive behaviors are manifested.

Emotional Symptoms and Signs of Depression in Men:

  • Anger and frustration
  • Low mood and lack of joy and happiness
  • Irritability
  • Aggressiveness
  • Clear changes in emotions and mood
  • Unjustifiable feeling of sadness
  • Suicidal thoughts

Symptoms and physical signs of depression in men include:

  • Feeling headaches
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Joint, limb, or back pain
  • Digestive problems
  • Feeling tired or fatigued
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Changes in appetite, such as overeating or undereating
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Anxiety or anger

Some of these symptoms may be due to the effect of depression on chemicals in the brain of the affected person. Depression alters levels of serotonin and norepinephrine, which are responsible for controlling pain and mood in the brain. Shared pathways of brain cells connect depression and pain.

Tips for men with depression include:

  • Engage in light exercise.
  • Go to a movie.
  • Participate in religious or social activities.
  • Break down large tasks into smaller ones and prioritize, doing what you can.
  • Try to regain trust in people close to you.
  • Delay important decisions before deciding to make a major move, change jobs, get married or divorced by discussing the matter with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
  • Remember that positive thinking will replace negative thinking, as depression responds to treatment.
  • Let your family and close friends help you.

Symptoms and physical signs of depression in men:

Depression is a mental health condition, but physical symptoms may also appear, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Joint, limb, or back pain
  • Digestive problems
  • Feeling tired or fatigued
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Changes in appetite such as eating too much or too little
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Anxiety or anger

Some of these symptoms may occur due to the effect of depression on the chemicals in the brain of the person suffering from depression. Depression changes the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine, which are responsible for controlling pain and mood in the brain. Common pathways of brain cells connect depression and pain.

Tips for men with depression:

  • Engage in light exercise.
  • Go to the movies.
  • Participate in religious or social activities.
  • Break down large tasks into smaller ones and prioritize them, and do what you can.
  • Try to regain your confidence in close people.
  • Postpone important decisions. Before deciding on a major move, job change, marriage, or divorce, discuss the matter with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
  • Remember that positive thinking will replace negative thinking, as depression responds to treatment.
  • Let your close family and friends help you.

 

Why is depression not diagnosed in men?

According to studies, women are twice as likely to suffer from severe depression than men. However, it is likely that more men avoid reporting depression than women. Therefore, the numbers for men may be higher.

Doctors may also misdiagnose depression in men. Men may be more likely to report physical symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, changes in appetite, and feeling tired, and emotional changes as a result of it. The doctor may then make an incorrect diagnosis of the condition.

When to consult a doctor: 

If you experience some of the behavioral symptoms mentioned above without a known cause, you may be suffering from depression. Therefore, you should consult a doctor immediately to help diagnose your condition and provide you with appropriate treatment to help you feel better. Leaving depression untreated can lead to many harms, including suicide.

Treatment for depression in men:

 There are many methods of treating depression, and the response to treatment varies from person to person, as each person responds differently to treatment. The doctor determines the appropriate treatment for each case.

Treatment options include:

  1. Medication therapy
  2. Talk therapy
  3. Cognitive behavioral therapy
  4. Consuming certain foods that can help reduce depression

How to help a loved one who is suffering from depression:

If you notice signs of depression in a loved one or someone close to you, it is important to discuss this with them. Asking someone who is experiencing depression about how they feel is an excellent first step.

After that, encourage them to make an appointment with a specialist doctor. Many depression patients find it difficult to seek medical help.

In addition, patience is required when providing support and assistance to a person suffering from depression. Behavioral changes in men with depression may cause them to become more aggressive and difficult to deal with.

The symptoms of depression in men may differ from those in women. Men are more likely to experience feelings of anger, aggression, and dangerous behavioral changes that may lead to suicide. Therefore, if any symptoms of depression are felt, it is essential to consult a doctor immediately.


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