About 4.8 percent of the total U.S. adult male population suffers from depression. In general, men struggle more than women to speak openly about difficult feelings. For many men, there is a familial and/or social stigma that talking about feelings will be viewed as weak or make one less masculine. The pattern of bottling up difficult feelings will eventually lead to symptoms that have a significant impact on one’s day-to-day life. If left untreated, depression may even become life-threatening. Men commit suicide 3.5 times more often than women.
Symptoms of Depression in Men
While men and women share many of the same symptom-patterns of depression, there are both physical and behavioral symptoms of depression that are particularly prevalent in men.
Physical Symptoms of Depression in Men
● Frequent headaches
● General aches and pain
● Sexual dysfunction
● Weight loss
Behavioral Symptoms of Depression in Men
The Mayo Clinic claims that men tend to use different coping skills than women to address symptoms of depression. Some behavioral symptoms of depression in men include:
● Alcohol or drug abuse
● Escapist behavior
● Outbreaks of anger
● Irritability and irrational risky behavior
● Verbal or physical abuse
Treating Depression in Men
Many men who are struggling with depressive symptoms downplay the seveity of these symptoms and are reluctant to seek out professioanl help. Reaching out for consultation with a mental health professional is a big first step. It is important to know that depression is treatable.
Men who seek out and find treatment that is tailored to meet their individual needs are likely to experience significant symptom reduction. Learning healthy coping strategies, creating a plan to conquer feelings of helplessness, and receiving ongoing support for the areas of life that are producing the most distress, are some of the ways individual therapy may help.
Contact Dr. Arian Elfant
Dr. Arian Elfant is an Uptown, New Orleans-based therapist who specializes in treating depression. Dr. Elfant has years of experience treating depression in men, and can help you or a loved one. Contact her with all your questions online or call her at (504) 319 - 6800.