Men and Depression

Men and Depression

This November for Men’s Health Month, we aim to help others recognize and better understand the relationship between men and depression. Both men and women experience depression, but their symptoms can vary, and depression in men may often go unnoticed. In addition, men are less likely to talk about and seek treatment for depression. Yet depression affects millions of men each year. Together, we can help bring awareness to depression in men and provide proper support.


The signs and symptoms of depression in men include, but are not limited to:

  • Feeling anxious or “on edge”
  • Overeating or not wanting to eat at all
  • Anger or irritability
  • Lack of or lowered sexual desire, and/or problems with performance
  • Not being able to concentrate
  • Loss of interest in work, relationships, or pleasurable activities
  • Feeling very tired, and not being able to sleep enough or sleeping too much
  • Feeling sad or empty
  • Engaging in high-risk activities
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts


Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders. Current research suggests that it is caused by a combination of risk factors including, but not limited to:

  • Genetic factors such as having a family history of depression
  • Environmental stress whether it is financial stress, loss of a loved one, work troubles, or anything stressful else can sometimes trigger depression
  • Illnesses can sometimes make developing depression more likely, or worsen depression symptoms


Men often avoid talking about their depression and getting treatment. It is important that friends and family that recognize depression symptoms in their loved one encourage them to receive treatment. Treatment may vary but plans commonly include:

  • Psychotherapy
    • Various types of psychotherapy, or “talk therapy,” can help treat depression. Therapy can help one teach new ways of thinking and how to create better habits. Therapy can also provide an outlet for men to discuss things that might be contributing to their depression.
  • Medication
    • Antidepressants can be helpful for many in the treatment of depression. However, medications can take time to become effective and often have risks of side effects, so it is important to learn about the medication you take before starting.

Crisis Help

If you or a loved one is in a crisis, it is important to get help immediately. If in danger of suicide:

  • Call 911
  • Go to the nearest emergency room
  • Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255); TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889)
  • Veterans can call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255