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May/June 2013
Male depression
Understanding the issues
By Mayo Clinic staff
Male depression signs
and symptoms
Depression signs and symptoms can differ
in men and women. Men also tend to use
different coping skills - both healthy and
unhealthy - than women. It isn’t clear why
men and women may experience depression
differently. It likely involves a number of
factors, including brain chemicals, hormones
and life experiences.
Like women, men with depression may feel
blue or may not get pleasure from activities
they once enjoyed. But a few other things
commonly show up in men that may not be
recognized as depression signs and symptoms:
• Escapist behavior, such as spending a lot of
time at work or on sports
• Alcohol or substance abuse
• Controlling, violent or abusive behavior
• Inappropriate anger
• Risky behavior, such as reckless driving
• Infidelity or unhealthy sexual relationships
Male depression often
goes undiagnosed
Men with depression often aren’t diagnosed,
for several reasons. Some of them include:
• Failure to recognize depression. If you’re like
many men, you may think that feeling sad
or emotional is always the main symptom of
depression. But for many men that isn’t the
primary depression symptom. For example,
headaches, digestive problems, fatigue,
irritability or chronic pain can sometimes
indicate depression. So can feeling isolated
and seeking distraction to avoid dealing with
feelings or relationships.
• Downplaying signs and symptoms. You may
not recognize how much your symptoms