7 Signs of Male Depression and How to Cope with Them
Depressive phobia has traditionally been mainly related to the female sex. Among other things, because there appears to be a higher proportion of women diagnosed with depression than men. But this does not mean that it does not exist, even that it is more common than it seems or of the cases that come to light. Thus, male depression is more common than it seems.
Because the reality is that men also suffer from depression, although its symptoms may be somewhat different. That is why we must understand how to identify the symptoms of male depression. Many people are familiar with depressive symptoms such as sadness, apathy, crying, etc., but they are often confused when the symptoms of depression are expressed in men as anger, rage, resentment, hostility, the behavior of abuse, alcohol addiction, unexplained irritability, hopelessness, low self-esteem, and feelings of confused identity.
Signs of male depression
1. They hide their emotions
Men are well known for their tendency to cover up or hide their true feelings on numerous occasions. Sometimes they tend to have so many layers to their personality and thought patterns that helping them increase their awareness of what is happening to them or they are feeling is very difficult. But why? Mainly because society transmits to them that any expression of emotion can provoke a social reaction that is not always one of acceptance. It is a sad reality that a man will suffer in silence to avoid social ostracism before seeking help.
What we can do: If you know a man who might be struggling with depression but refuses to ask for help, you can offer to talk to him about how he is feeling, provide him with a book, article, or website on the subject. Be careful how you raise the issue, as some men are likely to get defensive and offended. Tell him that you care and just want to make sure he’s okay.
2. They seem too happy or overjoyed
Trying to project a happy or overly cheerful facade is not something specific to men only, as many women do this too. But they have a reputation for being funnier and tend to be more sarcastic about their feelings or the feelings of others. It’s almost as if sarcasm or laughter about topics like depression is something men have to do.
What we can do: Avoid laughing or smiling in the face of sarcastic comments that seem insensitive to others’ feelings or depressed moods. It’s best to debunk any myths about masculinity and highlight the importance of being sensitive to someone who may be depressed.
3. Drinking more and/or taking recreational drugs in male depression
Many men drink wine or beer. Again, it’s a very cultural “macho” thing and that is to have a beer for the guys and “hang out.” Because most men have such established habits as this, it can be difficult to determine precisely to what extent this has become an act of “self-medication.”
What we can do: Try to control his drinking if possible, without him knowing. Do you drink on the weekend? Do you drink every weekend? Are you drinking every night after work? Does he get defensive when you comment on his drinking? If so, it may be to something that requires further attention. Depression often surprises men that they internalize their feelings and may lead to a greater need for alcohol or other addictive behaviors to help cope with their feelings and emotions.
4. Being more irritable, angry, hostile, or resentful for no obvious reason
Men can be tricky when it comes to regulating mood. One way to determine if depression is at the center of your irritable mood is to observe your behavior in other settings, around other people, and during certain times of the day. Men who suffer from depression are often more irritable than usual and get angry about things that once did not give them this feeling.
What we can do: Talk to him about his irritability in a way that makes him feel like you care about his well-being. You can hint about whether this behavior works for him. Or, you can really and honestly broach the subject. Either way, let him know that you’ve noticed a “change” in his behavior and wonder why.
5. They use pessimistic or fatalistic language
Many people use fatalistic language at some point. Life is not always wonderful and it is certainly not always predictable. Because of this, it is normal for someone to feel desperate and perhaps even defeated at times and express their emotions using this type of language. Thus, male depression can also present pessimistic and fatalistic language.
But if a man uses this language a lot and it is also not something he usually does, this may be a clue or indication that depression and hopelessness are present. You can intentionally use this type of language in the hopes of getting someone’s attention or even shutting up because that’s really what you feel.
What we can do: If pessimism or negativity is not your typical behavior, try to broach the subject at a time when it seems somewhat receptive. You can start by asking simple questions without sounding accusing. For example: “Why so much negativity lately?”, “What’s going on?”. You can also broach the subject by first stating your own struggle as: “I totally understand your perspective, I also try to stay positive, but I’m not used to feeling this way. ”
6. Losing interest in things you used to enjoy
Men have feelings of hopelessness, lack of motivation, or anhedonia . Many cover their emotions by saying things like “I’m fine,” “I’m just tired,” or “I’m happy even though it doesn’t show right now.” In this way they cover up the emotions and distract attention from your depressed mood. If the man is trying to convince others that they are the same person they have always been, something is not right.
What we can do: What we can do here is set an example. You can plan activities and try to involve the man in those activities that should be fun. We can set an example by letting go and allowing ourselves to experience a little joy. It has to be a sincere act, that conveys security, for him to participate and try to be happy, even if it is only for a moment.
7. Constant search for excitement
Some men, when they are depressed look for strong emotions and things that excite them in some way. Sex, food, speeding, cheating, drinking, using drugs, or spending money are some examples of activities that men looking for an escape route. The purpose of this is to decrease feelings of depression and increase the “feel good” through hormones (ie adrenaline ). Unfortunately, some men will engage in self-injurious behavior.
What we can do: If a man is engaging in self-injurious or unsafe behavior just because of his emotions, it is time for a serious discussion. Depression can be treated and most men learn to deal with symptoms positively, but other types of behaviors have much more damaging and dangerous effects. Don’t pressure him for help, it’s best to try to get him to understand that unsafe behavior will lead to more problems down the road. Try to make great dishes like pizza dough, masago, etc, and eat them.
We hope this article can help you in case you need it and that these tips can be useful.