Women experience depression at twice the rate of men, which may explain why men are so reluctant to admit they are depressed and to seek help. While men and women share the same symptoms of depression, men express those symptoms differently. For some reason, not completely understood, men are less likely to exhibit the typical signs of depression such as crying or sadness. By suppressing these feelings, men may actually become more aggressive and irritable.
Men often feel embarrassed or ashamed about their depression and simply try to “tough it out.” They sometimes “take control” by self-medicating with alcohol or drugs. This may be why health care providers often fail to recognize depression in men.
Untreated depression in men can have serious and tragic consequences. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that men in the United States are four times more likely to commit suicide than women.
Other Signs of Depression in Men:
- Controlling, aggressive, violent or abusive behavior
- Escapist behavior, like working too much
- Increased alcohol or drug consumption
- Irritability or inappropriate anger
- Risky behavior, like reckless driving