Feature Archive

Men and Depression

Emotions

WebMD Feature

For years, depression was seen as a woman's issue. And given that women visit psychiatrists and counselors more often than men do, and that women seem to have an easier time expressing their emotions, it's understandable why mental health professionals were convinced that more women suffered from depression than men.

Yet men commit suicide four times more often than women do. More men than women abuse drugs and alcohol and initiate violence. Clearly, men aren't less likely than women to become depressed; they're just less likely to recognize and seek help for depression, and they have different ways of dealing with it.

Signs of Depression

  • Loss of energy
  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • Feelings or sadness or guilt
  • Inability to concentrate or sleep
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Drinking alcohol more than usual
  • Distancing yourself from family and friends

How Men Are Taught to Cope with Emotional Pain

Generally, men are raised to be in control, independent, strong and rational. We are trained to see life as a constant battle for what we consider our just rewards -- a good job, a nice house and car, a fit body. Our machinelike mentality leaves little room for difficult emotions like confusion or sadness. It's considered unmanly to even admit these feelings, which we believe will slow us down or, even worse, break us down. Rise above your hurts and pains, we are told.