Men are less likely than women to recognize, acknowledge, and seek treatment for depression. In addition, because men may appear to be angry or aggressive instead of sad, their loved ones and even their physicians may not always recognize depression symptoms.
Symptoms in Men
- Anger, irritability, or aggressiveness
- Feeling anxious, restless, or “on the edge”
- Loss of interest in work, family, or once-pleasurable activities
- Problems with sexual desire and performance
- Feeling sad, “empty,” flat, or hopeless
- Not being able to concentrate or remember details
- Feeling very tired, not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much
- Overeating or not wanting to eat at all
- Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
- Physical aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
- Inability to meet the responsibilities of work, caring for family, or other important activities
- Engaging in high-risk activities
- A need for alcohol or drugs
- Withdrawing from family and friends or becoming isolated
Depressed men tend to:
- Blame others
- Feel angry, irritated and ego-inflated
- Feel suspicious and guarded
- Create conflicts
- Feel restless and agitated
- Need to feel in control
- Find it “weak” to admit despair
- Use alcohol, TV and sports to self-medicate
Losing a job – This unexpected event causes men to wonder about their value. Men struggle
with their family identity if they are no longer providing income and the challenges of financial
Return to Civilian Life – Men returning from service often have difficulty transitioning back
into civilian life. It is not uncommon for men to have difficulties re-adjusting to family, preparing for the workforce, re-adjusting to civilian culture and creating structure outside their military unit.
Parenthood – The introduction of new responsibilities, stress and expectations can make the
transition into parenthood hard on men.
Divorce – Divorce can be complicated for men. It can lead to new challenges in regard to their
children. It can create financial difficulties and can leave men with many questions when it comes to their identity.
Retirement – Men spend a lot of time preparing financially, but they often don’t prepare themselves for what else comes with retirement
Transitioning to a new phase of life might require men to develop a new set of skills or fill a role they’re unfamiliar or uncomfortable with, which can lead to depression, anxiety, substance abuse and other issues.