Depression is a serious illness in both men and women. It is more common in women, in part because of hormone changes at different times in a woman’s life. But depression is also a real issue for men. It can look different, and men are less likely to be treated for depression. Why is that?
Men may be more likely to act out when depressed. These symptoms may be more common in men:
Men may be less likely to have these symptoms of depression:
Some symptoms of depression are common in both men and women.
Many men hide depression so well even their doctor might not see it. This can make it harder for men to get treatment. The more we learn about how depression is different in men, the better health professionals will become at spotting and treating it.
The important thing to remember is that depression can be treated.
If you think you may be depressed, see your doctor. If your doctor asks about depression symptoms during a visit, be honest. Another health problem, like an infection, thyroid disorder, or low testosterone might cause you to feel depressed. Sometimes when these problems are treated, depression symptoms will go away. If your doctor thinks your symptoms are not caused by another health problem, you may be evaluated for depression. This could be done by your doctor or by a mental health professional.
During the evaluation, you will be asked about:
The doctor will check your mental status, including your speech, thought patterns, and memory. Treatment for depression may include medicine, psychotherapy or both.
These tips can also help you cope with depression:
It is important for men to understand that depression is a brain disease, not a sign of weakness. Treatment can improve the quality of life of any man who is depressed, as well as those close to him.
Mental Health America
National Institute of Mental Health
Mental Health Canada
Canadian Psychiatric Association
Depression basics. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression. Updated 2016. Accessed September 10, 2020.
Depression in men. Help Guide website. Available at: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/depression-in-men.htm. Updated October 2019. Accessed September 10, 2020.
Major depressive disorder (MDD). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed September 10, 2020.
Men and depression. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/men-and-depression/index.shtml. Accessed September 10, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board
Last Updated: 1/15/2020