Did you know that on average 1 in 8 men will experience depression?
Depression is often hard to spot, especially in men. A lot of men who have depression may see it as a weakness, or simply don’t know how to open up to others about how they’re feeling. The signs of depression in men may not be recognised even by family members, friends or work colleagues. The list below will give some insight into what to look out for.
Signs of Depression in Men
- Extreme fatigue (Feelings of having no energy or motivation)
- Feeling hopeless or worthless
- Difficulty sleeping (Waking up or early or interrupted sleep)
- Feeling anxious
- Weight or appetite change
- Lack of concentration
- Suicidal thoughts or suicidal attempts
- Feeling angry or irritable
- Reckless behaviour or risk taking
- Loss of sexual desire and performance
Note: Not all of the signs and symptoms listed above need to be present to be diagnosed with depression. All men are different, you might just have one of these symptoms, you may have a number of the signs and symptoms.
Extreme fatigue is more than the feeling of being a bit sleepy or tired. It’s were you feel physical, mentally and emotionally drained. It can be a real struggle just making it through the day, carrying out normal everyday tasks. Waking up in the morning and not having the motivation to even get out of bed is common with extreme fatigue. This can be contributed to if you are having trouble sleeping or restlessness during the night, another sign of depression in men.
Feeling Hopeless or Worthless
It can be a difficult process to get on the road to recovery and feeling hopeless or worthless is a common symptom. Not knowing where to turn or who to talk to is a common thing many men go through. Unfortunately, this is why the suicide rate is bigger in men than women.
Even if you are experiencing extreme fatigue, sleeping can be a problem. Are you struggling to get to sleep at night? Or waking up throughout the night for no reason? Their are things you can try to help with difficulty sleeping (listed below).
Feeling anxious may leave you also feeling more isolated as men are less likely to seek help than women. Having a a family member, friend or professional to talk too can help with anxiety issues.
Weight or Appetite Change
Changes to your appetite could be one of the potential signs of depression in men. Also if you start to see changes in your weight whether that’s putting weight on or losing weight. See the advice below, about what you can do to try and control this.
Lack of concentration
Do you find yourself in a zombie-like mode? Not feeling as “switched on” as you once were? Having a lack of concentration can really affect your everyday life, especially for a man working full-time.
If you are thinking about ending your life or have attempted to commit suicide. I’ve included some useful links to helplines such as Samaritans, at the end of this article. It’s a 24/7, confidential helpline where you can talk to someone who cares about you.
Feeling Angry or Irritable
Many men with depression feel angry and irritable. You may feel that it’s your fault that you’ve got depression or that you’re being punished for something. This is simply not true. Depression can happen to anybody and it’s not your fault.
Reckless Behaviour or Risk Taking
Due to a number of different factors. Depression can put you into a self-destructive mindset. Taking risks that you wouldn’t normally take, substance abuse and alcohol abuse are the main problems. Drink and drugs will only help to mask your depression in the short term, however in the long term, will make matters worse.
Loss of Sexual Desire and Performance
Men with depression can experience a loss of sexual drive and not perform as well in the bedroom. This can make other symptoms worse, such as feelings of anxiety, irritability and anger.
How to Fight Depression
Depression can be treated. Depression is an invisible illness and often feels like trying to combat it on your own is a constant up-hill battle. With the right support from family, friends and professionals, their are things you can do to help beat it.
Making some changes to your lifestyle can help in most mild cases of depression.
- Daily exercise – This doesn’t need to be an intense workout. Even just a walk around the block can help. – Tip: Read this article on how to find the motivation to go on a run.
- Improving your diet
- Getting into a better sleep routine
Friends and family are great people to talk too and receive support from, but having a healthcare professional on your side is also important. A healthcare professional has the training, experience and skill set to be able to diagnose where on the scale you are and what the best possible treatment will be.
Don’t suffer in silence.
More and more men are are taking action by speaking out about their depression.
- Depression is NOT a sign of weakness
- Real men CAN talk about their emotions and problems
- Men are NOT expected to bottle everything up
- Anybody can have depression, it’s NOT your fault.
- NHS Clinal Depression
- NHS Depression Self-Assessment
- Heads Up Guys (recently mentioned in the Top 20 Best Blogs for Men) has the best expert advice on depression in men.
- Samaritans Helpline
The fact that somebody understood, did not criticise, did not palm me off, did not judge or advise… gave me back my confidence in me as a person. – Samaritans caller