Signs of Male Depression

Dec 20, 2022 | Mental Health | 0 comments

The signs of male depression involve changes in how they feel, think, or behave. In addition, some symptoms of depression are more likely to affect men than women because of hormonal, social, and genetic differences. 

Depression is a mental health condition that affects day-to-day activities. It makes a person feel sad, empty, irritable, and lose interest in things you usually enjoy. Even though it is normal for all humans to have bad days, if you experience it for more than two weeks, you may experience depression.

Depression is a severe condition that can not be ignored. Depression is not just a bad mood. It changes brain chemicals. Not everyone can overcome depression without treatment. Depression, if not treated with antidepressants that normalize brain chemical levels, often leads to suicide.

Many men who suffer from depression are ashamed to seek treatment and even avoid talking about their feelings. Mainly because of a distorted sense of masculinity or a perception that it’s unmanly to express emotions. 

Men may also resist getting a diagnosis or treatment for depression because they fear it will cause them to lose their jobs or relationships. 

Causes of Male Depression

depressed male

A wide range of factors can cause male depression. Every person has their own set of circumstances.

For some people facing unemployment, a family member dying, life in abuse, or stress at work could trigger depression.

You are more likely to develop depression if:

  • One of your close family members suffers from depression.
  • Serious medical condition.
  • You could be the type of person prone to depression (you worry a lot, or you are a perfectionist).
  • You consume too much alcohol or take drugs.
  • You are lonely.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, there was a spike in the number of depressed people due to isolation from friends and family. 

Sometimes, there is no clear cause. But if there is no obvious reason for being depressed, it doesn’t mean that the person is not experiencing depression. 

Signs of Male Depression

fatigue male

Depression can look completely different in men. Male depression is often confused with anger issues or a midlife crisis. While some men exhibit the same signs, others may mask their depression with behaviors that aren’t necessarily associated with a mental illness. 

Though depression affects both sexes, it is typically more common in women. But the symptoms are often more difficult to spot in men

Symptoms of male depression vary among men, but common symptoms include:

  • Loss of interest in normally pleasurable activities.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Sleep disturbance.
  • Fatigue.
  • Overwhelming.
  • Feeling hopeless.
  • Feeling of helplessness.
  • Guilt.

Males with depression may have the following thoughts:

  • That they are not important.
  • People would’ve been better without them.
  • Life is not worth living
  • Their life is boring, and they can’t enjoy it

Regarding sexual life, some men may become sexually overactive or have extramarital affairs. However, for other men, depression can lead to avoidance and aversion to intimacy.

Behavioral Signs of Male Depression


Behavioral signs are different for men and women. For example, men with depression are more likely to start using alcohol and drugs. In addition, men are more likely to display anger and engage in risk-taking activities.

Behavioral signs of male depression:

  • Taking drugs or drinking more alcohol.
  • Avoiding social situations.
  • Avoiding family.
  • Workaholism.
  • Becoming more abusive in relationships.
  • Engaging in risk-taking activities.
  • Suicide attempt.

A theory says these changes occur because men try to mask their depression and stick to “masculinity.”

Physical Signs of Male Depression

physical pain

Depression affects a person’s brain chemicals. Depression changes serotonin and norepinephrine levels, these chemicals responsible for mood and pain control. That’s why depression has physical signs as well as emotional and behavioral. 

Some physical signs of male depression include:

  • Headache.
  • Eating disorder.
  • Joint pain.
  • Back pain.
  • Weakness.
  • Digestive problems.
  • Tiredness.
  • Sleeping too much or too little.
  • Weight loss.

Male Suicide

Many men suffer from severe forms of depression, including suicidal thoughts. The National Vital Statistics Report estimates that approximately 765,000 Americans attempt suicide yearly. It is also important to note that men are more likely than women to attempt suicide. And in addition, males die by suicide three to four times more often than females; males make up 49% of the population but nearly 80% of suicides. Men also tend to show fewer signs of a suicidal person. 

If you or someone close to you is at risk of immediate harm, call:

US988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 or IMAlive at 1-800-784-2433.

Elsewhere: Find a helpline near you at Befrienders WorldwideIASP, or International Suicide Hotlines.

When to See a Doctor

If you experience symptoms of depression for more than two weeks, it is crucial to see a doctor.

The doctor can diagnose depression and prescribe the proper treatment.

If ignored, depression can lead to suicide! Therefore, it is vital for a person with depression to get help as soon as possible.


therapy session

Despite the high suicide rates among men, if diagnosed early, they may still be able to get help and recover. If you have symptoms of depression for two weeks or more, contact your doctor.

Almost 80 percent of men who seek treatment will find relief from their symptoms. 

A combination of medication and psychotherapy is effective for most people with depression. In addition, lifestyle changes can also help.

How to Help Someone With Depression?

If you notice any signs of male depression in your friend/family member or partner, the first step would be to have a conversation with them. If they don’t like or don’t want to talk about their feelings, you can discuss their physical symptoms, which can lead them to open up about their other symptoms.

Try to be a good listener. It’s important to be supportive and nonjudgmental during your conversation. Encourage them to make an appointment with their doctor.

The Bottom Line

Signs of male depression may differ from depression in women. Men tend to be aggressive, angry, engage in dangerous activities, drink more, and engage in substance use.

It is essential to seek help as soon as possible because depression can lead to suicide.

Almost 80 percent of men who seek treatment will find relief from their symptoms. Treatment can improve man’s health and well-being. 

If you know someone who may suffer from depression, talk to them and encourage them to make an appointment with their doctor. People with depression can go on to make a full recovery.

signs of male depression

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