There’s no doubt about it, depression affects both men and women. Countless studies have suggested however that the way we experience mental illness differs depending on our gender.
Aside from the typical symptoms of depression, men commonly report feeling a deep despair that won’t go away. They may feel drained of energy and emotionally cut off from everything and everyone. A man who is depressed can be in a state of constant agitation, he may feel restless, irritable and on edge.
Some very common signs of this mental illness include feeling anxious, fearful and full of self-loathing and doubt. For men however, it’s not unusual for them to become overbearing, suspicious and even abusive to the people they love.
It’s often difficult to diagnose depression in men because they’re reluctant to come forward about their feelings. The different ways they experience it however also makes it very difficult because nobody (including doctors) understands this agitated form of the mental illness.
It may not be recognised as depression as easily or could even be confused with other problems which is why some researchers believe that fewer men are diagnosed than women.
The research has also found that the way men and women try and cope with depression also differs. Although very clichéd, countless studies have found that women will turn to food, friends and ‘love’ whereas men will use alcohol, television, sports and sex. Men have also been found to throw themselves into more reckless behaviour such as drinking too much, taking drugs or participating in other high-risk activities.
If you think that you or someone you know could be suffering from depression, please feel free to visit our Depression and Anxiety Treatment Programme page for more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments that are available.