From childhood, men are taught to be in control of their feelings. And until recently, it looked like they were. That’s because until recently, men were diagnosed with depression only about one-tenth as often as women. But new research suggests that what they're really good at is hiding their feelings. Depression in men may always have been far more common than we knew.
Depression touches every race, income level, and age. Identifying depression in men can sometimes be difficult.
Nearly 18.8 million Americans over age 18 suffer from major depression. Unfortunately, most people never seek treatment. Left undiagnosed and untreated, depression can worsen, lasting for years and causing untold suffering, and possibly even result in suicide.
Symptoms of depression include:
Loss of enjoyment from things that were once pleasurable
Loss of energy
Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
Difficulty making decisions
Depression is a serious but treatable medical condition -- a brain disease -- that can strike anyone. In America, more than 6 million men have depression each year. If left untreated, it can result in personal, family, and financial problems. The most serious consequence of depression in men is suicide. Men are four times more likely than women to commit suicide.
What is depression?
Clinical depression is much more than just feeling down. It is a serious disruption of a person’s regular way of thinking, feeling, and acting.
Because women are diagnosed with depression 10 times more often than men, these symptoms of depression are really "their" common symptoms. It is common for men to have them also, but the signs of depression in men may be different. Instead of appearing sad, men often can become irritable or aggressive, drink too much, or act recklessly.
Men often don't recognize or admit they're depressed, and they are less likely than women to seek help for depression. Also, because the signs of depression in men can look different than they do in women, doctors may not diagnosis it as often. For these reasons, depression in men may often go unidentified and untreated.