Depression affects millions of men of all backgrounds and ages. For men, it can often be difficult to acknowledge, talk about or seek help for fear of showing signs of emotional weakness. Remember, depression is a real and treatable illness and can affect anyone at any age. Men who seek treatment often get better and regain their interests in their family and work life, as well as their hobbies. Men often experience depression differently than women. While women with depression are more likely to have feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and excessive guilt; men are more likely to be very tired, irritable, lose interest in once pleasurable activities, and have difficulty sleeping. Some men throw themselves into their work to avoid talking about their depression with their family or friends. Without recognizing symptoms, depression may go untreated and lead to serious consequences such as substance use and abuse, reckless behavior, and suicide.
Although more women attempt suicide, many more men die by suicide in the United States. There are many effective ways to help treat depression in men. It is important to seek help and support. Therapy, medications, social support, and lifestyle changes are all helpful in treating depression. For information on depression management, click here. Additional resources may be found here.
Cochran SV, Rabinowitz FE. Men and Depression: clinical and empirical perspectives. San Diego: Academic Press, 2000.
Kochanek KD, Murphy SL, Anderson RN, Scott C. Deaths: Final data for 2002. National Vital Statistics Reports; 53 (5). Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, 2004.
Pollack W. Mourning, Melancholia and masculinity: recognizing and treating depression in men. In: Pollack W, Levant R, eds. New Psychotherapy for Men. New York: Wiley, 1998.