Symptoms of Depression in Men
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Symptoms of Depression in Men

Depression, once labeled a woman's disease, is being recognized more frequently in men. Nearly 20 million Americans suffer from depression each year. Over six million of these sufferers are men, who suffer from at least one depressive episode within one year.

Male depression may include symptoms not normally thought of as the classic depression symptoms. As a result, depression can be difficult to recognize in men. Doctors may then be less likely to suspect it as the cause of a man's complaints. Men may also not be willing to admit that they are feeling depressed.

Symptoms Associated With Male Depression:

  • Using alcohol or drugs to self medicate
  • Working excessively long hours
  • Watching excessive amounts of television
  • Becoming irritable or angry
  • Becoming violent to himself or others
  • Creating conflict
  • Acting overtly or covertly hostile

In addition to male associated symptoms, men may also experience classic symptoms.

Classic Symptoms of Depression:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, being "slowed down"
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight loss, or overeating and weight gain
  • Restlessness, irritability
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain
  • Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts

Untreated depression has been linked to suicide. Men die by suicide almost four times more than women, even though women make more suicide attempts. This could relate to the fact that men seek help and treatment less than women.

Two-thirds of people who suffer from depression do not seek help. It is crucial, however, that depression be diagnosed and treated. Of those who seek treatment, 80% experience significant improvement and lead productive lives.

The complications in diagnosis and nature of depression in men require family and friends to play role in detection and antidepressive treatment pursuit.


Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression


Canadian Mental Health Association

Health Canada

Last reviewed November 2007 by Theodor B. Rais, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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