Men and Depression

Depression has sometimes been referred to as the “under” disease: under-diagnosed, under-discussed, and under-treated.  This is especially true for men, who may associate the symptoms of depression with weakness of character, or believe that they should be able to overcome their symptoms on their own.

What are the symptoms of depression in men?

Both men and women may experience many of the same symptoms of depression. But because men tend to focus on physical problems like fatigue, physical pain and sleep problems rather than emotional ones, diagnosing depression in men can be a challenge.

The abuse of alcohol or drugs is one symptom that is more common in men than in women.  It has been demonstrated that men are more likely than women to turn to alcohol or drugs in an attempt to mask the symptoms of depression.  Recent studies at the University of Michigan have shown that the best outcomes result when depression and alcohol abuse are treated at the same time.

How is depression diagnosed and treated in men?

The same tools are used to identify depression in men and women.  Some of the most commonly-used tools are reproduced in the Are You Depressed? section of this website, and may help you begin to determine whether the symptoms you are experiencing could indicate depression.  [Note that these tests are not meant to take the place of an evaluation and diagnosis by a trained medical professional.]

Depression is a treatable illness.  This website contains information on treatment options, including medications, psychotherapy and neuromodulation techniques, which have been proven effective in managing the symptoms of depression in both men and women.  In addition, research has shown that patients with depression can benefit from making lifestyle changes on their own. From nutrition to sleep to exercise to stress reduction, there are dozens of steps you can take to help you feel and function better.  Visit the Take Care of Yourself section of this website to learn all about them.