Signs of Depression in Men

June 3, 2020. Article by: HeadsUpGuys

Depression is a beast. It’s different from normal sadness in that it consumes your day-to-day life and interferes with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun. The feelings you have when depressed – such as helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness – can be intense and unrelenting.

Common symptoms of depression include low mood or irritability, decreased interest or pleasure, significant weight or appetite change, changes in sleep or activity, fatigue or loss of energy, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, difficulty concentrating, and, for some, thoughts of suicide. The more symptoms someone is experiencing, the more likely they are dealing with depression and the more reason to reach out to a health professional early for mental health support.

When it comes to men, though, researchers are beginning to recognize that they often don’t notice feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or guilt. Men may also be more likely to deny these types of feelings or try to mask or hide them with other behaviours.

Some guys also have difficulty putting their emotions into words and expressing their feelings. When depressed, men may also show symptoms that we may not think of as being associated with depression, like:

  • Being irritable and aggressive
  • Working compulsively
  • Isolating themselves from friends and family
  • Drinking more than normal
  • Engaging in high-risk activities (drinking and driving or dangerous sports)

It’s important to know that these can serve as warning signs of depression and be a signal for a guy to reach out or for friends and family members to check in with his health.

Depression affects everyone in different ways

One guy might not have enough energy to even get out of bed, while another might feel constantly edgy and restless. One might feel really down all the time and break into tears seemingly for no reason. Regardless of what an individual is feeling, know that depression is treatable and that there are existing supports to help you or a loved one get through this.

To help guys understand if depression may be affecting them, HeadsUpGuys has a Self-Check (depression screening tool) that can help evaluate a person’s symptoms, and depending on their score, provide prompts to appropriate resources.

Depression may be a new and scary experience for a guy, but it’s important to not feel alone and understand that it should be treated like any other serious health condition – reach out, get support, and use the tools we know can help in recovery.

If you or someone you know needs help

  • Visit HeadsUpGuys for tools and strategies to fight depression, as well as information on professional services and how to access them, inspirational recovery stories, and information for friends and family members on how to support a guy.
  • Talk to a counsellor, get peer support or access other mental health and substance use services online or over the phone. Virtual supports are available for youth, adults, seniors and health care workers in British Columbia.