10 Symptoms of Depression Men Should Know About

After many years of being largely ignored in conversation, mental health is finally starting to get discussed in our society. Issues like depression and anxiety can be damaging to a person’s health and life. Obviously, recognizing and acknowledging a problem is the first step. However, it’s important to recognize that men and women tend to exhibit signs of depression in different ways. Here is a look at some of the symptoms that can help men recognize that they may be depressed.

  1. Extended periods of sadness. This may be obvious, but it needs to be said. It’s okay to feel down or have a bad day sometimes, but if you can’t bounce back within a day or two, it could be a sign of depression. Remember, depression isn’t always just locking yourself in a dark room and shutting out the world. A lot of times it’s feeling a little down over an extended period of time.
  2. Sudden anger. Yes, some men get angry sometimes, but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Anger is often an emotional expression of the pain and negative feelings you have when you’re depressed. Obviously, all anger doesn’t equal depression, but sudden instances or anger or irritability could point to feeling depressed under the surface.
  3. Lack of interest in usual activities. This is a symptom of depression that most people can recognize in others but perhaps not themselves. If things like work, family, and hobbies are no longer appealing, there’s probably something wrong. To be fair, there are a lot of reasons why you may lose interest in your job or suddenly have poor job performance. But if you don’t get excited about spending time with your family or your usual hobbies, depression could be the cause.
  4. Reckless behavior. Engaging in any kind of reckless or escapist behavior is one way that men exhibit depression. Instead of being overtly sad, reckless activities is a way that some men express their emotions. Such behavior could include drug use, having unsafe sex with multiple people, excessive amounts of gambling, or dangerous driving. Any kind of behavior that is clearly bad for a person’s health or safety could potentially be a sign of depression.
  5. Excessive drinking. Hopefully, you know that alcohol is a depressant and is not a great decision for someone who’s depressed. However, often times someone who is depressed but doesn’t realize it thinks that drinking will help put them in a good mood. Of course, binge drinking probably isn’t going to solve someone’s depression. In fact, it’ll probably cause it to get worse. If someone starts drinking more than usual for no reason, it could be driven by their depression. On the flip side, regular binge drinking can also lead to depression, so it’s a bit of a double-edged sword.
  6. Physical pain. This is a tough one to recognize because there are many causes of physical pain. However, it’s common for depression to manifest as physical pain, more so in men than women. More specifically, back pain and headaches are common physical ailments that accompany depression. Men may also experience digestive problems, including diarrhea and constipation if they are suffering from depression.
  7. Fatigue. Depression and fatigue often go hand-in-hand with one another. Much like excessive drinking, fatigue goes both ways. It can be a symptom of depression as well as a cause. It’s possible for depression to manifest as insomnia or other sleep disturbances that may not be noticed right away. Naturally, those will lead to feeling tired. At the same time, having trouble sleeping can make you feel tired, which in turn causes you to feel sad and depressed. Either way, it’s important to be aware of the connection between fatigue and depression. This is particularly true since fatigue can lead to irritability, lack of interest in things, or trouble concentrating.
  8. Pushing people away. We always tell people who are depressed and upset to reach out for help. But the truth is that depressed people are more likely to push people away than to reach to others out for help. The reasons behind this aren’t always clear and obvious. Perhaps we’re embarrassed to be depressed or don’t even want to admit it to ourselves. It’s also not always a conscious decision. This makes it important to notice if someone you know is pushing people away. It could be their depression, not them.
  9. A sudden change in weight. Often times, depression will alter a person’s appetite. For some, it’s a loss of appetite. But for others, they will feel compelled to overeat. This means that depression could be the underlying cause for a sudden and unintended change in weight. It doesn’t matter if it’s a gain or loss.
  10. Lack of sex drive. Not even a man’s sex life is immune to depression. Clinical depression may cause a drop in libido. It can also lead to problems related to erectile dysfunction and sexual performance, which will only make depression worse. To make matters worse, some medications used to treat depression can also have a negative effect on your libido. However, it’s always best to take care of your depression first and worry about your sex life later.