Most people associate depression with women, but the sad fact is that men also get depressed. Depression is diagnosed in about 6 million men and 12 million women in the USA every year. It’s not that men are less likely to be depressed; it is that men are less likely to admit they have a problem that needs medical attention. Depression is an illness, but most men equate male depression to a common cold that will go away on its own. Sometimes male depression is situational, and sometimes male depression can be induced by a medical reason. Oftentimes men will express their depression as anger and aggression, where women may express their depression in more subtle ways. Males who are depressed may also express their depression with risky behavior, such as having affairs outside of the marriage or relationship.
What are the symptoms of male depression?
The symptoms of male depression may be expressed by a man being unable to control his impulses. He may become irritable and explode into episodes of anger and rage. A man who is depressed may also appear to be unforgiving. He may not accept any responsibility for his actions, and blame other people for whatever has gone wrong in his life or with his job. A depressed man may have a very low tolerance for situations that are stressful. For instance, if his children are making noise he may become belligerent with them and storm out of the home until he cools off. The man who screams at his children, his wife, or other family and friends may justify his response as appropriate, even though his reaction was way over the top. A man who is depressed and exhibiting angry outbursts may have a low self-esteem to add to the mix.
What causes the angry outbursts in male depression?
The angry and aggressive outbursts associated with male depression may be related to the man’s testosterone levels. As a male, you could have something more than clinical depression. Your depression could be induced by an imbalance of testosterone levels. If you are depressed, you should not ignore it. If you are having depression symptoms for longer than two weeks, you may have clinical depression. It is important to see your health care practitioner to be diagnosed. Clinical depression is an illness, it can be caused by an imbalance of brain chemistry, but depression may be a symptom of an existing medical problem, such as a testosterone imbalance.
Is there a risk of suicide associated with male depression?
Often male depression goes diagnosed for a long period of time, partly because men don’t see the need to see a doctor for their symptoms. Men are often in denial that anything is wrong with them, in spite of the change in behavior they exhibit. Men are often not willing to confide in anyone when things are bothering them; men often view it as weakness to confide in family, friends and medical professionals.
When a man is depressed and he doesn’t do anything about it, his symptoms can escalate to a point where he is at high risk for suicide. It is true that women have more attempts at suicide, but there are more men who actually take their lives from an act of suicide. Women are usually more passive in how they attempt suicide. Women may think of a more painless way to commit suicide that may or may not bring death to her. Men, however, often use more aggressive measures to attempt suicide, which is more likely to cause death from suicide. A man is more likely to shoot himself with a gun or to jump off a high building, or do some other aggressive act of self-inflicted violence.
Is there a risk of depression and suicide with steroid use?
Men who have an imbalance in their testosterone levels may be at risk for depression and suicide. Everyone has heard of “roid rage.” The use of anabolic steroids can increase a man’s risk of depression, which may cause his emotions to spiral out of control. Men who have too much testosterone in their bodies may have increased aggression toward the people they love, and to act out aggressively toward themselves.
Is there a risk of depression and suicide with low steroid levels?
Men with low testosterone levels, usually older men, are also at risk for depression. Older men, who are depressed, often feel a sense of hopelessness. A man may have lost his wife and he may not see his grown children very often. He can often feel so alone that he sees no point in continuing to live with such unhappiness.
When should men seek medical attention for depression?
Men who have been feeling depressed for two weeks or more should see their doctor for an evaluation. You may feel it isn’t necessary to see a doctor, or that it isn’t macho to admit you have a problem with depression. You may not even realize that you are depressed, or that your moods have changed. You may discover from your family and friends that there is a problem. Whatever the case is, if you have experienced a change in mood, or if you have been feeling the joy go out of your life, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible. If you feel like ending your life, you need to get emergency help right away.
The physician will be likely to give the man a physical examination and draw blood for lab work to rule out the possibility of a medical condition, which might be the root cause of his depression symptoms. The doctor will ask pertinent questions to get an idea of the man’s state of mind. There is very good depression treatment available for men. There is no reason why a man should suffer in silence with depression symptoms.