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Depression in Male

Is depression the same for men and women? Not necessarily. Men and women both may develop major depression with persistent sadness, hopelessness, sleep and appetite disturbance, lack of sexual interest, feelings of worthlessness, and suicidal thoughts. However, the social roles and the physical and psychological differences between men and women create some differences in their vulnerabilities to and experiences of depression. Although the overall rate of depression is greater in women than in men, the rate of actual suicides is four times higher in men. And, when men do kill themselves, they are more likely to use violent methods.

Major depression often occurs by itself, as a primary disorder, although it is not unusual for it to develop in association with other psychiatric conditions. Men who are abusing alcohol and other substances, or whose teen years were marked by a conduct disorder (i.e., physical aggression, verbal abuse, destruction of property), have a greater risk of depression. Sometimes, it's difficult to identify depression as a separate disorder that should be treated.

And, of course, not all men respond to depression in the same way. Some will become more socially isolated and withdrawn. Some will turn to alcohol and drugs, perhaps in an effort to escape from their symptoms.

When depressed, some men may become more reckless and take more risks, not caring whether they harm themselves or others. Some men become abusive. The biggest challenge for men who are depressed is recognizing that they have a problem and then going to see a health care provider to discuss their problem. Men tend to deny their symptoms. They are less likely to describe feeling sad, but instead may discuss their low energy, motivation, poor sleep, and low interest in work and hobbies. When reviewing the past, men often minimize earlier episodes of depression, although their pattern for recurrent episodes is similar to that experienced by women. The recommended treatment for men suffering with major depression is the same for all populations: psychotherapy and antidepressant medications.

So, men — remember: You might be depressed if you are experiencing:

Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings
Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism or both
Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
Irritability, restlessness
Loss of interest in once-pleasurable activities or hobbies, including sex
Fatigue and decreased energy
Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
Overeating, or appetite loss
Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
Persistent aches and pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment


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