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Father and his adult son hugging after talking about symptoms of depression.

4 things to know about depression in men

May 23, 2022

It’s normal to feel sad, angry, or exhausted whenever something stressful happens to you. None of these is a sign of weakness, and nobody should ever have to tough it out or deal with it alone.

However, sometimes that’s easier said than done. Depression impacts men of all ages and backgrounds as well as their loved ones. But many people don’t understand the unique signs of depression in men or the challenges they may face when it comes to seeking treatment. 

What are the signs and symptoms of depression in men?

The physical symptoms of depression in men and women share some similarities when it comes to the following:

  • Sadness

  • Fatigue

  • Sleeping too much or too little

  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
     

However, men can also exhibit behaviors and coping mechanisms that may indicate depression:

  • Drug or alcohol abuse

  • Controlling, violent, or abusive behavior

  • Outbursts of irritability or anger

  • Reckless behavior

How can you overcome symptoms of depression?

Depression and anxiety in men often go undiagnosed. However, getting professional help is essential as it paves the path toward accurate diagnoses, treatment, and recovery. Here are some things to keep in mind to help you overcome these symptoms.

1. Acknowledge your depression

While sadness is the most common, it is often not the most recognizable symptom of depression in men. If you’re experiencing any or a combination of the symptoms mentioned above―especially after a stressful event―it can be helpful to recognize and acknowledge that you may be experiencing depression.

2. Avoid downplaying your symptoms.

When you note and recognize your symptoms, your next step should be to make space for them instead of minimizing or downplaying them. Depression is as severe as any physical disease and requires as much attention and treatment.

3. Be open to discussing your symptoms.

It can be challenging to open up to your friends and loved ones out of worry, much less discuss your symptoms. However, discussing your symptoms and feelings with your loved ones can help create a strong support network for you and may even help strengthen your bonds with them. These discussions can also make it easier for you to talk to a professional, as you would have had time to go over your symptoms with people you are comfortable with.

4. Seek professional help and treatment

If you think you are experiencing depression, your best course of action is to seek professional treatment, especially as many mood changes can be indicative of other conditions such as thyroid disease. Talk to a St. Joseph and Texas A&M Health Network primary care physician about your symptoms. From there, they can refer you to a psychiatrist, who can offer the appropriate diagnosis and treatment options.

 

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