Depression in Men
- An estimated 26.2% of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.
- One of the most common manifestations of mental illness is depression.
- Depression affects more than 19 million Americans every year, regardless of age, race, or gender.
- Over 6 million men (7% of the population) are diagnosed with depression each year
WHAT IS DEPRESSION?
Depression is more than just a low mood – it is a “whole-body” illness that affects your energy, thoughts, body and behavior. Depression is a serious, yet treatable mental health disorder that can affect any man, no matter how burly his moustache. You may lack energy, have difficulty sleeping or sleep more than usual. Some people feel anxious or irritable and find it difficult to concentrate. Major depression or bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder is responsible for 30% to 70% of suicide attempts. Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for more than 1% of all deaths with four times as many men committing suicide as women.
The good news is, just like a physical illness, depression is treatable and effective treatments are available. The key is to remove the stigma around men opening up and talking about their feelings. Once men are comfortable discussing their issues, they will be aware of the signs and symptoms for mental illness and can seek help.
WHAT MAKES A PERSON MORE AT RISK OF DEPRESSION?
Different types of depression often have slightly different symptoms and may require different treatments. Some events or situations that have been linked with depression include:
- Having a serious medical illness
- Family conflict
- Isolation or loneliness
- Drug and alcohol use
- Changes in the brain
- Having a family member with depression
- It’s important to remember that each person is different and it is often a combination of factors that puts a person at risk of depression
TIPS TO STAY MENTALLY HEALTHY
Talk to your doctor. There are many underlying causes of depression and a doctor can guide you to the proper course of treatment whether that is therapy, medication or lifestyle change.
- Eat a nutritious and balanced diet
- Manage stress
- Keep a regular sleep cycle
- Stay active and exercise regularly
- Participate in your favorite activities
- Spend time with friends and loved ones
THINGS TO REMEMBER
- Depression and anxiety are common and treatable
- Help is available and it’s important to seek help early – the sooner the better
- Depression and anxiety disorders are illnesses, not weaknesses, and people shouldn’t feel ashamed to seek help
- By talking about depression and anxiety, we can help raise awareness and reduce the stigma