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Recognizing The Symptoms
of Depression in Men

Sometimes the symptoms of depression in men can be hard to recognize.  Men are so used to appearing strong and in control that admitting to feelings of sadness, emptiness or low-self esteem may be thought of as being weak.

This can only feed depression. Not dealing with negative emotions often means depression will continue to go untreated.


Recognizing The Symptoms of Depression in MenDepressed men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women.
Recognizing The Symptoms of Depression in MenDepressed men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women.

Image Credit:  Pixabay


Signs & Symptoms of Depression in Men

The signs and symptoms of depression in men are similar to those found in women. Feelings of worthlessness, emptiness and lethargy are common complaints.

But there are a least three commonly overlooked signs of depression and men:

Anger: this emotion can manifest in many ways.  Just a few examples are a short fuse, abusive and controlling behavior, irritability, and road rage.

Physical pain: sometimes depression in men manifests as pain.  Some examples are: frequent headaches, insomnia, backaches and sexual dysfunction.

Reckless behavior: sometimes depressed men might express risky behavior. Here are a few examples:  Having unsafe sex, pursuing risky and dangerous activity, driving recklessly, substance abuse, and compulsive gambling.


A Closer Comparison of how
Depression in Men Differs from Depression in Women

Read the chart below.  Men who suffer depression are more likely to feel and act a certain way. Remember that these examples are not absolutes.

Depression in Men

-Tends to feel angry and irritable

-Tends to blame others

-Feels weak to admit self-doubt 

-Feels restless

-Creates conflicts

-Self-medicates with: sex, alcohol

Depression in Women

-Tends to feel sad and worthless     

-Tends to blame themselves

-Easily admits self-doubt


-Feels tired and anxious

-Tries to avoid conflicts

-Self-medicates with: food, "love"

What Causes Depression in Men?

Really any particularly stressful life situation can influence symptoms of depression in men but these are the top triggers. 

-Overwhelming stress from work or family pressures

-Marital or relationship issues

-Not reaching important life goals

-Losing or changing a job

-Serving in the military

-Frequent money problems

-Personal health problems or a loved one's health problems  

-Recently quitting smoking

-Death of a loved one

-Caring for aging parents

-Retirement

-Loss of independence particularly for elderly men

Symptoms of depression in men:
5 tips for overcoming depression

We are lucky to be living in a time that offers many treatment options for depression.  Of course for some, medication can be a viable option. But there are plenty of natural, drug-free alternatives. Here are some you may want to consider before trying, or in addition to taking antidepressant meds. 

1. Spend some quality time in the sunlight

The sun has gotten a bad rap over the years.  Yes, spending too much time in the sun without SPF protection can be hazardous to your health.  But we need the sun's life giving rays to boost those good feeling brain chemicals like serotonin.  

Don't let sunny days go to waste.

-Take your dog for a walk

-Grab a few friends and play some basketball

-Ride a bike

-Sit in the park and read a good book

Whatever activity you choose, be sure to aim for 15 quality minutes of sunlight each day. 

Are the dark, dreary winter months depriving you of precious sunlight?  The solution may be to invest in a  light box.

2. Keep in touch with family and friends

Depression feeds on loneliness and isolation.  But you can regain your power over depression by staying close to friends and family.

Many men feel that seeking and accepting support from others is a sign of weakness. Not true.  Most friends and family would feel good that someone trusted them enough to confide in them.  

Let Kati show you how it's done!


3 Simple Ways to Reach out to Friends or Family!

3. Move it!

Exercise is an effective antidepressant.  But don't take my word for it. Studies show that regular exercise is just as effective as antidepressant medication. This article provides some additional insight into why exercise helps to lift depression.

4. Hit the hay

Poor sleep worsens depression. For those with mental health issues it can be especially difficult but not impossible to get a good night's sleep. 

5. Try the anti-depression diet

Simply put, the anti-depression diet is one consisting of healthy fats, mood-boosting  nutrients, while minimizing, or better yet eliminating harmful foods that threaten your mood.  Get the details here. 

5. Chill out already

Ok, so since when does being relaxed have anything to do with depression? Well since forever actually.  According to studies, there's a strong link between depression and stress.

Practicing stress reduction techniques is proven to calm stressful emotions, lift depression and improve feelings of overall well-being.

 Symptoms of depression in men:
Tips for offering support 

Ok, so you suspect your friend or loved one is suffering from depression. What steps do you take to offer them support and hope?  Take note of the following suggestions. 

Let's start with you

Before you try to offer help to another, remember this.  You aren't responsible for another person's happiness. You can't fix anyone else's depression, nor are you responsible for a loved one's depression.  Ultimately, recovery rests in the hands of the sufferer. 

Engage and listen

Remember that it may be difficult for many people to open up about depression. So just listen carefully and provide hope that with time things will get better. This article may help. 

Encourage him to participate...

In activities that once brought him pleasure like sports or hobbies. Don't push him to take on too much too fast.  This may just overwhelm and frustrate him.

Be patient

Depression slowly chips away at one's joy, energy, and self-worth.  Sometimes there may be relapses where he feels happier than he has in a while.  

But then gets tangled in the web of depression once again. Don't expect him to just "snap out of it." Don't take it personally if he pushes you away. Instead, let him know you've have his back. 

Don't ignore talk of suicide

Not all men struggling with depression desire to kill themselves.  But if he mentions suicide don't delay. Seek help. Connect with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.  

This website provides some amazing resources on suicide prevention including information on suicide helplines worldwide. 


Symptoms of depression in men: Additional Resources

Men and Depression (PDF) – This is a PDF booklet that explains how depression in men looks as well as tips some tips on getting better.  Source: National Institute of Mental Health





I hope this article:"Symptoms of Depression in Men" helps you on your journey to better mental health!

Brighter skies are ahead,




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Week 1

This first installment focuses on the link between exercise, diet and good mental health.

Week 2

I'll talk about the importance of using relaxation techniques to lift your mood and calm your nerves, which in turn improves mental health. 

Week 3

This week all about using self-esteem to improve mental health and overall well-being. 

Week 4

This final week presents ways to reduce social media usage. Studies show that over consumption of social media contributes to anxiety and depression.

Click here to start this free e-course!




Week 1

This first installment focuses on the link between exercise, diet and good mental health.

Week 2

I'll talk about the importance of using relaxation techniques to lift your mood and calm your nerves, which in turn improves mental health. 

Week 3

This week all about using self-esteem to improve mental health and overall well-being. 

Week 4

This final week presents ways to reduce social media usage. Studies show that over consumption of social media contributes to anxiety and depression.

Click here to start this free e-course!