Depression in Men
Close your eyes and think of someone with depression. Picture the person lying on the couch staring at the TV. Picture them struggling at work or having a hard time caring for the kids at home. Imagine the emotional pain they endure on a daily basis.
Who did you imagine? What did they look like? If you are like many people, you pictured a woman in her late 30s or early 40s. Over the years, the public has begun to widely associate depression with this group. This view may be accurate, but it is limited.
The truth is that depression in men is common. It is a notion that those in the mental health field take for granted, and one that many others find difficult to accept. In actuality, estimates claim that six million men in the U.S. deal with depression yearly. Though, this number is lower than the number of woman with depression, it remains a significant percentage of the population and one not to be ignored.
Men face several barriers that woman do not when it comes to depression. First, there is an overall lack of understanding in regards to the symptoms of depression men experience. Second, there are pressures from society and the men themselves to not admit to feelings of depression. Third, men tend to seek out negative coping skills to address their depressive symptoms. This piece will investigate each barrier while offering solutions and measures to improve the mental health and well-being of men with depression.
Depressive Symptoms: Men vs. Woman
Breaking news: Men and woman are different. As a man, you might think that because you don’t lay in bed all day reaching for another tissue to dry your eyes, you don’t have depression. Just as men and women can have different symptoms of a heart attack, you can have different symptoms of depression.
Common symptoms in women include:
- Feeling slowed down and lacking energy
- Feeling sad, empty, guilty and shameful
- Being indecisive and unsure of themselves and their life
- Feeling weepy and crying often
- Finding it more difficult to leave the house