12 Signs of Depression in Men

Common Symptoms of Depression.

Everyone occasionally feels sad or "blue". But these feelings are usually short-lived and pass within a couple of days. When you have depression, it interferes with daily life and causes pain for both you and those who care about you. Depression is a common but serious illness. Many people with a depressive illness never seek treatment. But the majority, even those with the most severe depression, can get better with treatment. Psychotherapies , in some cases Medications and other methods can effectively treat people with depression.

Here are the most common symptoms of depression:

  • Sadness

  • Feeling hopeless and empty

  • Negative thoughts

  • Crying for no obvious reason

  • Guilt

  • Feeling worthless and helpless

  • Being overly self-critical

  • Irritability

  • Feeling angry

  • Anxious

  • Restlessness

  • Aggression or reckless behavior(more common for men)

  • Trouble concentrating ,making decisions, remembering

  • Thought processes have slowed down

  • Suicidal thoughts

  • Physical symptoms :

    • Aches and pains

    • Headaches

    • Loss of energy

    • Loss of interest (sex, hobbies, or social interactions)

    • Neglecting physical grooming

    • Sleep changes (waking up too early, not being able to fall asleep, sleeping too much )

    • Appetite changes (eating too much or too little)

There are several forms of depressive disorders.

Major depression,—severe symptoms that interfere with your ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy life. An episode can occur only once in a person’s lifetime, but more often, a person has several episodes.

Persistent depressive disorder,—depressed mood that lasts for at least 2 years. A person diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder may have episodes of major depression along with periods of less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last for 2 years.

Some forms of depression are slightly different, or they may develop under unique circumstances. They include:

  • Psychotic depression, which occurs when a person has severe depression plus some form of psychosis, such as having disturbing false beliefs or a break with reality (delusions), or hearing or seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see (hallucinations).

  • Postpartum depression, which is much more serious than the "baby blues" that many women experience after giving birth, when hormonal and physical changes and the new responsibility of caring for a newborn can be overwhelming. It is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of women experience postpartum depression after giving birth.

  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD),which is characterized by the onset of depression during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. The depression generally lifts during spring and summer. SAD may be effectively treated with light therapy, but nearly half of those with SAD do not get better with light therapy alone. Antidepressant medication and psychotherapy can reduce SAD symptoms, either alone or in combination with light therapy.

More than 5 million men in the U.S. experience depression each year. Clinical depression—in women or men—can cause sadness and a loss of interest in once pleasurable activities. But depression can sometimes manifest in different ways in different people.

While the symptoms used to diagnose depression are the same regardless of gender, often the chief complaint can be different among men and women.

Here are 12 signs of depression in men.


People who are depressed undergo a series of physical and emotional changes. They can experience fatigue, as well as psychomotor retardation, or a slowing down of physical movements, speech, and thought processes.

According to experts, men are more likely than women to report fatigue and other physical symptoms of depression as their chief complaints.

Sleeping too much or too little

Sleep problems—such as insomnia, waking up very early in the morning, or excessive sleeping—are common depression symptoms.

Some people sleep 12 hours a day and still feel exhausted or toss and turn and wake up every two hours. Like fatigue, sleep troubles are one of the main symptoms that depressed men may discuss with their doctor, experts say.

Stomachache or backache

Health problems such as constipation or diarrhea, as well as headaches and back pain, are common in people who are depressed.

But men often don't realize that chronic pain and digestive disorders go hand in hand with depression. People who are depressed do genuinely feel bad physically, experts report.


Instead of seeming down, men who are depressed often show signs of irritability. If they talk about an emotional component, it could be sadness with irritability, experts say.

In addition, negative thoughts are a common aspect of depression. Men will report feeling irritable because they are having negative thoughts constantly.

Difficulty concentrating

Psychomotor retardation can slow down a man's ability to process information, thereby impairing concentration on work or other tasks.

Depression fills one with negative thoughts, almost like an intrusion. You're slowed down and constantly thinking about negative things in your world. As a result it makes it very difficult to focus on anything.

Anger or hostility

Some men manifest depression by being hostile, angry, or aggressive. A man who realizes something is wrong may need to compensate by demonstrating that he is still strong or capable.

Anger and hostility are different than irritability. Anger tends to be a stronger emotion, Irritability is a crankiness.

Exerts report that thy are also seen men become hostile when they have withdrawn as a result of their depression and feel under pressure by friends or family to rejoin society.


Men might be more likely to report symptoms of depression as stress. It's not that they have more stress; it's that it's more socially acceptable to report it.

According to experts, stress and depression can also travel a two-way street. It's accurate to say that feeling stressed can be an indicator of having clinical depression but also be part of the cause. Research has shown that prolonged exposure to stress can lead to changes both in the body and brain, which can in turn lead to depression.


Research has shown a strong link between anxiety disorders and depression.

Men may be no more likely than women to experience anxiety—in fact, anxiety disorders are about twice as prevalent in women—but it's often easier for men to talk about feeling anxious rather than sad, experts say.

Men may discuss concerns about work and whether the loss of a job will impede their ability to provide for themselves and their family. It may be easier to put words to worries and fears, experts say.

Substance abuse

Substance abuse frequently accompanies depression. Research has shown that alcoholics are almost twice as likely to suffer from major depression as people without a drinking problem.

It can happen for both men and women, but using drugs or alcohol to mask uncomfortable feelings is a strategy many men will employ instead of seeking health care, many experts say.

There's a cultural bias of, "I should be able to fix this myself and so I'll use what chemicals I have available to me to do that," experts say.

Sexual dysfunction

Depression is a common reason for loss of desire and erectile dysfunction (ED), and it's one symptom that men are inclined not to report. Performance problems can come from depression and make depression worse, many experts agree.

However, ED can be the result of other medical conditions or medications (including antidepressants), and ED by itself does not signal depression.

Many experts agree that you can't go after one symptom; it's a group of symptoms.


Some people naturally have a hard time making decisions, so an inability to make choices is usually worrisome only if it's a new behavior.

According to experts , it is an information-processing issue, and depression slows down your ability to decide.

Suicidal thoughts

Women are more likely to attempt suicide, but men are more than four times as likely to die if they do attempt suicide. One reason is that men tend to choose more lethal methods. They more often use firearms and kill themselves the first time they try, many studies report.

Older men are at highest risk for suicide, and doctors may miss depression symptoms in this group. In fact, more than 70% of older suicide victims saw their primary care physician within the month of their death.

Depression is not a normal part of aging in men or women.

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