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Depression Symptoms: Men and Women May Differ

Not everyone has the same signs and symptoms of depression. In fact, men and women may experience depression differently. Women more often describe feeling sad, guilty, or worthless when they are depressed.

Men are more likely to feel tired, angry, irritable, and frustrated, and they often have more sleep problems. A man may feel less interested in hobbies, activities, and even sex. He may focus excessively on work in order to avoid talking with friends and family about how he feels. Men also may be more likely to behave recklessly and use drugs or alcohol to deal with depression. Some men with depression can become abusive. More women attempt suicide than men do, but men are more likely to succeed -- almost four times as many men die from suicide as do women.

Many men do not acknowledge feelings or symptoms of depression. They don't want to admit that something may be wrong or talk about their feelings. But men and women can both get better with treatment.

Depression Symptoms: When to Seek Treatment

It can be hard to admit to yourself that you may be depressed, let alone ask for help. Here are two good reasons why you should consider depression treatment:

  • Treatment works. Even people with severe depression can find relief, and so can you.
  • Early treatment is better. As with many other health problems, getting treatment early on can ease symptoms more quickly. If you wait to get help, your depression can become more severe and harder to treat.

Talk to someone. There are many people willing to help you overcome depression, but the first step you have to take on your own is to let someone know how you are feeling. It may help to start by talking to a close friend or family member. Ask them for support in finding depression treatment. The sooner you get treatment, the sooner you will start to feel better. Don't hesitate -- call your doctor or a medical health professional if:

  • You think you may be depressed
  • You notice symptoms of depression such as sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness, or if you have less obvious symptoms such as trouble sleeping or vague aches and pains
  • Depression symptoms make it hard to function

If you have thoughts about dying or committing suicide, seek immediate medical help. You may feel hopeless now, but treatment will give you hope -- and help you see that life is worth living.