Understanding Depression in Men

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Depression impacts all genders but it can prove particularly difficult for men. Men are socialized to be strong physically and emotionally. In fact, being seen as strong is often mistaken for being the main component of being a man. This illusion of machismo often keeps men from reaching out for help when depression affects their lives. Montare Behavioral Health of Tucson employs a dedicated staff trained to help men feel comfortable opening up about their depression. We provide a safe space and compassionate therapists who provide multiple types of therapy and access to prescription medications.

Depression in Men 

Because women prove more likely to talk about their emotions, including those that accompany mental health disorders, it may appear that females suffer from depression more often than men. However, depression in men is just as dangerous and potentially deadly if left untreated. 

Mental illness in women is more common than in men, but men are less likely to receive a diagnosis or treatment. In fact, one in ten men develop depression or anxiety at some point in their lives, yet less than half go for treatment. While females are more likely to attempt suicide, men are more likely to complete the act

How Does Depression Affect Men?

Depression affects both men and women, and many of the symptoms have commonalities. However, depression in men can also manifest in specific ways unique to this gender. For example, depression can cause men to feel sad and hopeless, but it can also surface in more aggressive ways. Many times a man who experiences depression feels angry or irritable and may lash out emotionally or physically as a result. 

Men with depression can also develop cognitive difficulties that include problems thinking clearly, remembering things, concentrating, and making decisions. This, in turn, can increase the likelihood that they will feel angry or frustrated. 

Men struggling with depressive disorders sometimes try to distract themselves or isolate themselves from others. This can surface in actions such as working extensive hours on the job and avoiding contact with their partners, family members, and friends. In addition, men may engage in risky behaviors, such as driving recklessly, using drugs and alcohol, and engaging in unsafe sex.

Finally, depression in men can often be more difficult to recognize than in women. Men often feel societal pressure to feel and be perceived as strong and able to handle all their problems. When depression strikes, they typically feel more reluctant to tell someone, including their doctors. This can drag out the amount of time between when depression first surfaces and when the man seeks treatment.

Signs & Symptoms of Depression in Men

While not every person experiences the exact same symptoms, depression in men typically has common signs. These include:

  • Overwhelming sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Crying
  • Drinking or using drugs to feel better
  • Insomnia
  • Sleeping too much
  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Often feeling tired
  • Loss of interest in sex or having erectile dysfunction
  • Loss of interest in work, education, or hobbies
  • Physical symptoms like headaches, body aches, and digestive difficulties that have no identifiable cause
  • Suicidal feelings
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Weight loss or gain

How is Depression in Men Treated?

Treatment for depression in men begins with providing a thorough evaluation to understand the man’s history of mental health disorders and any previous attempts at treatment. Once an official diagnosis is made, the health provider can recommend a mental health care expert, and they will construct a treatment plan. 

There are two most common and proven approaches to helping men who become depressed to improve their symptoms. The first is therapy, and an abundance of types of therapies are available to help a person begin to heal from depression. Individual therapy helps establish a safe space for men to speak openly and without fear of judgment. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) proves particularly effective because it helps the individual comprehend their mindset and emotions and put problem-solving into action.  

For men with treatment-resistant depression, using Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, a non-invasive procedure, can provide wonderful results. Attending family therapy can help people close to the man with depression better understand his symptoms, improve communication with the family, and provide ways to help their loved one improve their mental health.

The second approach is the use of prescription medications that help decrease or eliminate many of the symptoms of depression. Some drugs need only to be used short-term while others provide the best results when used over longer periods.

Contact Montare Behavioral Health of Tucson, Arizona Today

Montare Behavioral Health of Tucson understands that using a cookie-cutter approach to treating mental health disorders robs people of the individualized treatment they deserve. We provide structured treatment for depression in men that takes into account issues and challenges specific to their gender. Our approach to using individualized treatment places our program above the average ones that use a singular approach to healing depression. We offer several types of therapy and options for prescription medications. We help men reach their full potential and minimize the impact their mental health has on their lives.  

Would you like to know more about our residential program for depression? Contact us today and let’s have a conversation.