What to Know About Depression in Men
Depression in Men
Depression is more than just feeling sad. It’s a feeling that goes beyond “snap out of it!” And unfortunately, in men, it’s often misdiagnosed as the symptoms can be different than in women.
Research points out that men have trouble saying out loud, “I have depression,” because of societal pressure to always appear strong. If you are a man, you have to ask whether the stigma is worth your mental health?
Studies show that professionals look for the same symptoms of depression in men as in women: sadness, increased emotions or fatigue. Women also tend to be more open about their emotions in general and will acknowledge when they feel sad or hopeless, while men are usually reluctant to speak about their feelings.
Well, there’s always help!
You can overcome depression!
According to the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, differing hormones in men and women is one of the major reasons for conflicting symptoms.
While the female hormone, oestrogen, is an important contributing factor for depression in women, in men, testosterone is often linked to anger and irritability, which can manifest as depression. Symptoms of depression may be different in men than in women.
Common symptoms to look out for in men can include:
- Physical pain like backache, headaches or stomach cramps
- Unexplained anger, aggression or irritability
- An unexplained change in sleeping patterns
- Decreased libido
- A feeling of hopelessness
- A lack of interest in hobbies or usual sport activities
- Reckless behaviour like excessive alcohol consumption or dangerous driving.
What can you do about depression?
Don’t take these symptoms lightly. It’s important to get help. You don’t want to let this condition grow into something that can lead to suicide.
- Talk to a therapist about the symptoms you’re experiencing.
- Go easy on alcohol and nicotine which can further spark mood changes.
- Talk to your doctor about antidepressants as a treatment. They may take some time to be effective, so be patient.
- A 30 minute walk may not be the magic cure to lift you out of depression, but exercise is a proven way to release endorphins in your body, giving you a feeling of happiness and contentment. Staying active helps you cope with depression.
- Distraction is a technique to consider. If you feel like you’re going down an endless spiral, try to get up immediately and distract yourself with something that takes effort like raking up the leaves, painting a room or rearranging furniture.
- The importance of sleep cannot be emphasised enough. We need quality sleep for the body and mind to function at its best.
- There’s no shame in needing a shoulder to cry on. If you’re at the end of your tether, call a friend, relative or even a helpline. Having someone just listen is often all you need in the moment.
If you or someone you know suffers from depression and needs help, you can contact a trained counsellor between 8am-8pm Monday to Sunday, by calling the Pharma Dynamics’ toll-free hotline on 0800 20 50 26.
For a suicidal emergency, contact the South: 0800 567 567.
Want to find out more about other mental health conditions? You can follow this link.
You can also access more mental wellbeing tools at Let’s Talk.