Studies have shown that, although there are more women who get treated for clinical depression, there are actually about the same number of men who suffer the condition, but they do not admit it or seek treatment for it. Society often mistakenly labels men who get clinically depressed as ‘weaklings.’ This causes men to hide their conditions rather than come forward and seek medical attention.
About six million men in the United States suffer from depression every year. Men seem to manifest depression differently from women. In general, men are more disposed to recognize exhaustion, petulance, loss of interest in work or hobbies, and sleep disturbances’ not ’emotions,’ such as sadness, guilt, or worthlessness.
Because of this, men also have a different way of coping with depression. Denial is common. When clinical depression starts conflicting with a man?s pride and self-image, it is almost impossible for him to come clean and admit that he is suffering from this debilitating mental state. Clinical depression slows down the male libido, causing the man?s sexual energy to suffer. Instead of seeking professional help, a man usually find other sources such as alcohol or drugs to vent their frustration. Unknowingly, the intake of prohibited drugs can actually cause permanent damage to sexual performance.
In severe cases, men who do not seek help for their depression commit suicide. Women make more suicide attempts in the United States, but four times as many men actually commit suicide.
Further research must be conducted to understand all aspects of depression in men. The most pressing need is to make men more comfortable in acknowledging depression and getting treatment. Family members, friends, and co-workers have vital roles in identifying depressive symptoms in men and helping them get help.