Men and Depression: How men and women handle depression differently

Depression is not the same for everyone. Some people enter depression and are not able to complete their daily routine, and some have periods of depression and are highly functional. From the surface, it seems as if nothing is wrong. Men and women experience depression differently, as well.

Women respond differently to stress. Women dwell on stressful events and feelings, causing periods of depression to last longer. LiveScience shares that women ruminate while depressed compared to men. "This behavior may involve negative self-talk, crying for no obvious reason, and blaming oneself." In contrast, depression in men usually doesn't include a lot of deep thinking. LiveScience also shares that "Unlike women, men tend to distract themselves when feeling down, which helps ease depression."

Just because men do not overthink like women when it comes to stressful events, does not mean they do not get depressed. For men, the triggers for depression may include financial problems, life changes, trouble at work or losing a job, or an underlying illness. There are symptoms that men and women share when they are depressed like lack of interest and sleeping a lot, but there are symptoms in men during depression that we can all be mindful of.

Symptoms of Men with Depression

Men tend not to admit things. They will not admit when they're lost, and they will not ask for help. Yes, these are cliche examples, but that translates into them not admitting when they are having mental health issues, which can be dangerous when it comes to depression. Men are not welcomed with open arms by society to express mental struggles or any struggle for that matter. This could be why they do not openly discuss their feelings. Their denial and lack of communication goes into not being treated, and depression symptoms being displayed differently. Below are men's symptoms of depression.

Unable to perform sexually

A decrease in performance and sexual desire can be a reliable sign of depression in men. If you are a loved one, approach this topic sensitively.

A lot of anger

Because men do not express their feelings of depression, they get confused and angry. Women have the outlet to cry and complain to their friends, and unfortunately, men do not have that luxury. They're hurt and confused, and those emotions mixed with no outlet to express themselves is a recipe for anger. Rage and lashing out is a clear sign of depression.

Unexplainable aches and pains

LiveScience shares that "physical discomfort can manifest as headaches, stomach pains, back or joint soreness." Because men do not admit when they're lost or more seriously, sick, physical pain can be a clean giveaway of something be off.

Abuse of alcohol and other substances

Men may drink heavily or turn to illegal drugs to medicate themselves before the onset of depression, which is particularly true of teenage boys, Goldstein said. In women, substance abuse tends to occur after the onset of depression, or as anxiety levels increase, she said.

Depressed men may also try to mask their sadness by turning to other outlets, such as TV, sports, and working excessively, or engaging in risky behaviors, such as gambling, smoking, unsafe sex, or driving recklessly.

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