The Facts About Male Depression

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For reasons not yet fully understood, depression occurs about 70 percent more frequently in women than in men. However, depression does occur in men, and it is often left untreated. For this reason, it’s important to know the facts about male depression.

About 6 million men experience an episode of depression each year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Men vs Women

One reason fewer men than women are diagnosed with depression is that men may be more likely to feel ashamed of their symptoms and try to "tough it out" rather than seek help. Men typically don’t show the usual signs of depression, such as crying or sadness. In fact, depression may cause men to suppress these feelings, causing irritability or aggression.

Variety of Symptoms

Symptoms of depression in men are similar to those in women, but men will express the symptoms differently. Common symptoms of depression in men include:

  • • Changes in sleep and appetite levels (too little or too much)
  • • Irritability or agitation that is persistent
  • • Difficulty in concentrating, remembering or thinking
  • • Physically slowing down
  • • Lack of interest in activities that were previously enjoyable
  • • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • • Physical symptoms such as digestive issues, pain or headaches

Devastating Consequences

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), depressed men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women who are depressed. Men are also more likely than women to use more lethal methods to commit suicide, such as a gun.

Sources: NAMI and CDC

 
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