Male depression is just as common as female depression, but it doesn't seem so because very few men are speaking out or agreeing that they have depression. So most men with depression go undiagnosed and untreated. And this is very dangerous because people who commit suicide have been depressed and 75% - 80% of all the people who commit suicide in the U.S. are men. This sure makes you wonder if you could have reduced that number if you had just been more observant of the depression symptoms in that friend you know or loved who committed suicide.
If you're a man reading this and you think you may have symptoms of depression, go for diagnosis and start treatment immediately. Untreated depression can have devastating consequences.
Depression is nothing to be ashamed of, it's just another illness like pneumonia or any other illness that you can recover from.
Reasons Why Depression in Men go Undiagnosed
Failure to recognize the symptoms of depression
Downplaying the signs and symptoms
Not open to discussing the exhibited depression symptoms
Resisting treatment due to fear of the stigma of having depression will cause.
The Signs and Symptoms of Depression in Men
Men and women experience depression differently, reasons for this are likely because men use different ways both healthy and unhealthy to cope with their depression. And for women the difference could be due to a combination of factors such as brain chemicals, hormones and life experiences. There are some signs and symptoms common to both male and female depression such as, feeling blue or failure to get pleasure from the activities they once enjoyed, but there are symptoms almost unique to men. They include:
Depression escapist behavior - spending too much time at work or other activity such as sports
Alcohol or substance abuse
Controlling, violent or abusive behavior
Risky behavior, like reckless driving
Infidelity or unhealthy sexual relationships
Male Depression and Suicide
Although there are more women attempting suicide than men, more men are actually successful with it, this could be because they don't talk about committing suicide as women do, they act more quickly on their suicidal thoughts and use more lethal means, such as guns.
If you're male and seriously thinking about committing suicide or you know someone who is, please get help right away. Call 911 or your local emergency number. But if you're simply feeling suicidal, try to get help for yourself by:
Reaching out to a closed friend or loved one and sharing your feelings. If your friend or loved one loves you he or she will be willing to help you without condemning you.
Make appointment with your doctor.
Talk to your doctor about your symptoms he or she will refer you to a mental health provider.
Get the Help you Need
Depression is an illness, a disease, something out of your control. So admitting that you are ill is not a sign of weakness but the first step to get you well and be yourself again. If you have depression symptoms, go see your doctor and get diagnosed now so that you can get started on a treatment. If you let it linger by downplaying your feelings, or blunt it out by drinking too much alcohol or any other escapist behavior, your symptoms will persist and even get worse. And when that happens it will make you and your loved ones miserable and turn every aspect of your life upside down. If you think you have depression, talk to your doctor now, he or she will direct you to a professional mental health provider who can advice you on the illness.