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At some point in their lives, men, women, and people of all gender identities may all suffer depression. It is a significant illness that has an impact on a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. Data from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that can be trusted show that women seem to have depression more often than men. But it’s believed that men might be underrepresented in these figures.
This may be because it’s harder to recognise and identify depression in men due to a combination of social and biological variables. Additionally, they could experience social pressure to act “manly” by controlling their emotions.
Because of this, men are more likely to be depressed, and their symptoms are often different and harder to deal with.
Continue reading to learn about the warning signs and symptoms that men may experience, as well as what you can do next if you believe that you or someone you care about may be experiencing depression.
Men’s physical signs of depression
Men who are depressed could first experience bodily symptoms. Depression is usually thought of as a mental health issue, but it can also have physical signs.
Compared to emotional issues, many men are more likely to contact their doctors for physical problems.
- Chest tightness
- digestive issues like gas, diarrhoea, and constipation
- erectile dysfunction, and other sexual issues are some typical physical indicators of depression in males.
- hormonal problems such as insufficient testosterone, and discomfort
- palpitations or a speeding heart
- unintentional weight loss (and sometimes weight gain)
Male depression signs in the mind
Depression may manifest differently in men than it does in persons of other genders, which can make it more difficult to diagnose.
The way a person thinks and processes information may be hampered by these symptoms, which may have an impact on behaviour and emotions.
Men who suffer from depression frequently experience mental symptoms such as difficulty focusing, memory issues, obsessive-compulsive behaviours, and racing thoughts.
Suicidal thoughts and sleep concerns, such as trouble falling or staying asleep.
Men’s emotional signs of depression
Most people imagine a person who appears to be severely depressed when they hear the word “depression.” Sadness is only one of the many possible emotions that it can elicit, though.
Men may also suffer the following emotional signs of depression in addition to sadness:
- emotional detachment from friends, family, and coworkers
- agitation; hostility; wrath
- lack of libido
- lack of interest in family, community, hobbies, and work.
Male behavioural indicators of depression
Males can have behavioural effects in addition to its mental, bodily, and emotional manifestations. Because some guys find it difficult to talk about their feelings, other people frequently notice depression in men more through their behavioural signs.
The behavioural signs of depression in men most frequently include: difficulties managing work, family, and other responsibilities; drug abuse; excessive alcohol consumption; dangerous behaviours, such as reckless driving or unprotected sex; social isolation; and suicide attempts.
Why does male depression sometimes go undiagnosed?
Even though talking about mental health seems to be becoming more popular and accepting, there is still a lot of cultural and societal shame around depression, especially among men.
Men are typically socialised by society to suppress their emotions, despite the fact that this is unhealthy. In order to live up to these social norms, many men might be putting their emotional, physical, and mental health at risk.
Additionally, many men lack the knowledge necessary to recognise the less common symptoms of depression that they are more likely than others to suffer from.
Because they never notice the symptoms, some men never seek treatment. On the other side, some men who do notice the indications may find it difficult to talk about their experience because they worry about what other people will think.
Because of this, many men who show signs of depression work long hours or do other things to keep themselves busy instead of dealing with the depression.
It is possible to save lives by diagnosing depression and getting therapy. Men have a high rate of suicide, especially those who have served or are serving in the military. Men commit suicide at a rate that is three to four times higher than that of women.
What are the available medical alternatives today?
The most common methods for treating depression are talk therapy, medication, or a combination of the two. A medical professional can help you come up with a treatment plan that is just right for you.
Many men make an appointment with a psychotherapist to start therapy for mild episodes of depression. The therapist may then recommend particular sorts of treatment, such as
- Cognitive behavioural therapy
- Problem-solving therapy and interpersonal treatment
- Psychodynamic counselling
The addition of medication can then be made if necessary
To help with some of the physical, mental, emotional, and behavioural symptoms of depression, medication may be administered right away in more severe instances. Someone who has tried suicide or has had suicidal thoughts may experience this.
Depression is frequently treated with antidepressants such as paroxetine (Paxil) or sertraline (Zoloft). An expert in mental health treatment may, however, also recommend other drugs.
Be aware that it may take several weeks or months for these medications to start to noticeably alter how you feel. Be patient and strictly follow the prescribed course of action.
When to get assistance
Make an appointment to see a mental health counsellor if you’re dealing with one or more of the aforementioned signs of depression and they’re interfering with your everyday life.
Receiving such counselling is discreet and confidential, and the majority of insurance plans cover it.
Even while recent discussions on mental health have been more open and inclusive, many men still find it difficult to discuss their feelings in a culture that still supports conventional ideas about what it means to be a man.
The signs of depression in males, which are impacted by the same social influences as well as male genetics, can be difficult to recognise as well.
By getting the word out about the signs of depression in men, we can make the way for better, more inclusive mental health care.
With talk therapy, medicine, or a combination of the two, depression becomes a much more manageable part of life.