Male depression is a silent danger as men are more likely to suffer depression or anxiety, but are less likely to talk to someone about it or go for a treatment.
As a man, If you find yourself drinking too much, burying yourself in work all time, and having or showing a tendency to be easily annoyed and aggressive, then there is a possibility you could be depressed.
Depression isn’t rare amongst the general male population. It’s been estimated that around 16% of men in the UK alone suffer from symptoms of anxiety and depression. That’s almost 2 in 10 men.
Clinical evidence shows that, while men and women can both develop similar symptoms of depression, they often experience depression in different ways and may cope with it in different ways.
Signs and Symptoms of Male Depression
Although there are some similar signs of depression in both men and women, in most cases the signs of depression in men are different from women. Also, they use different coping strategies when depressed.
Albeit it is not quite clear why this happens, it might have to do with their life experience, hormones and brain chemistry and social restraints.
Signs of depression common with men
- Feeling sad and hopeless
- Feeling worthless and isolated
- Socially withdrawing and not caring about anything
- Suicidal thoughts
- Anger and chronic irritability
- Alcohol or substance abuse
For accurate diagnosis and treatment, it is advisable to see a professional, since some of these signs might overlap with other mental health issues and medical conditions.
Why Male Depression Often Goes Undiagnosed
Most men are secretly battling with depression daily and this goes unnoticed. One of the major reasons why male depression often goes undiagnosed is that men are so focused on the idea of “masculinity”. How “strong” they are perceived by others. So much so that they ignore dark, crippling emotions, overlook them and as such, they fail to recognise depression.
For a long time, there has been this gender stereotype that men are meant to be “brave” and not show vulnerability hence they tend to downplay the signs of depression. This will in turn lead to showing reluctance to discussing depression and resisting mental health treatment.
Male Suicide and Depression
Research has proven that the male suicide rate is 4 times higher than female. Although more women attempt suicide than men, men are most likely to succeed in their suicide attempt as they tend to act more impulsively on suicidal thoughts using methods that are more likely to cause death.
It is important to get help immediately by contacting your local emergency number if you think you’ll hurt yourself or commit suicide.
What To Do When You’re Depressed as a Man
Recognising you are depressed and seeking help is the first big step towards overcoming depression. It can be challenging to ask for help but it is vital to be in control of your emotional state before your emotional state controls you. Countless men deal with depression, however, you’re not aware of it as it is largely undiscussed.
It is imperative to quickly recognise if you are suffering from depression and to act on it. Even trivial mental health issues can turn out disastrous to you and your loved ones if you do not seek help immediately. You have to take into account yourself and the people who care about you.
Regardless of the severity of depression, talking to a professional and using prescribed medications (anti-depressants) can help improve your mental condition. Asking for help does not make you weak, rather it is a sign of strength to ask for help when you need it.