Top 5 Signs of Depression in Men

It wasn’t that long ago that depression was considered to be a “woman’s disease.” Today, of course, we know that depression affects men and women alike and that more than 6 million men in the U.S. have at lease one episode of major depression each year. Even with those statistics, depression in men is talked about less than depression in women. This leaves many people unaware of how to recognize the warning signs of depression in men.

One of the reasons that depression in men is less recognized is because our culture requires men to “be strong” and discourages them from talking about their feelings. As a result, men who are depressed are less likely to talk about the emotional symptoms of their depression — since expressing emotions is considered a “feminine” trait — and are more likely to talk about the physical symptoms of their depression. Most people are aware of the emotional symptoms of depression, but the physical symptoms are rarely discussed. As a result, when a man (or woman) complains about being tired all the time or that he has trouble sleeping through the night, we don’t realize these are warning signs that he may be depressed.

The Center for Disease Control reports that men in the U.S. are nearly four times more likely than women to commit suicide. Knowing the warning signs of depression in men could literally save your life or the life of a loved one. That’s why we’ve compiled the following list of the top five warning signs of depression in men.

Top 5 Signs of Depression in Men

Men and women share many of the same symptoms of depression, including:

  • Persistent sadness, emptiness or anxiety
  • Feeling fatigued or tired all the time
  • Sleep disturbances, such as insomnia, early-morning waking or oversleeping
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, guilt, worthlessness or helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions
  • Eating and weight changes, such as appetite and weight loss or overeating and weight gain
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, including actual suicide attempts
  • Persistent physical symptoms that don’t respond to treatment, such as headaches, chronic pain and digestive disorders

Men, however, tend to exhibit slightly different symptoms and/or express their symptoms differently. Some of these signs of depression in men are:

Feeling unusually aggressive or having inappropriate rage. Men who are depressed often repress their feelings of sadness or hopelessness. Instead of crying or talking about their feelings, men will keep their emotions hidden, which can make them more irritable, aggressive and angry. This can manifest itself in different ways like having a short tempter, road rage, and even violence.

Increased alcohol consumption or drug use. Since men don’t typically talk about their feelings and emotions, they may turn to alcohol or drugs as a way to cope with their feelings and mask their symptoms of depression.

Changes in sexual behavior. Depression can affect sexual desire and cause men to become uninterested in sex or unable to perform. Conversely, it can also make men more prone to sexual liaisons as a way to feel better through thrill-seeking behavior.

Increased risk taking. Sometimes depressed men will engage in risky, thrill-seeking behavior like reckless driving, compulsive gambling, casual sex or dangerous sports.

Escapist behavior. Men who are depressed may throw themselves into activities such as work, hobbies or sports in order to escape their feelings of depression. They may also go to the opposite extreme and isolate themselves from friends, family and co-workers by avoiding events, meetings and work.

Getting Help for Male Depression

Depression is a devastating condition that can put your life on hold. Our caring, highly skilled staff knows how difficult it is to admit you’re depressed, and are trained at helping men overcome the unique issues they face in depression treatment.

Don’t let depression control your life any longer. Get help today.


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8 Responses to “Top 5 Signs of Depression in Men”

  1. roy m

    I’m a 37 year old and on taking testosterone injections for low testosterone. Could this be a reason of feeling depressed.

  2. michael g

    Sounds like I’m depressed and I’m only 16 I always feel useless sad I’m tired all the time can never get a full night of sleep and have suicide on my mind everyday.

  3. Brandon P.

    If I’m depressed or bi polar or just over reacting. But every day I go home my wife rejects My affection and hates being affectionate towards me. It makes me feel empty,unloving,not worth it, and less of a man. And I don’t know how to take it…

    I try to vent with my bros the best I can.
    Michael and Devin the thoughts u have are not uncommon. But they need to be let out . If u guys need anyone to talk with im all ears.

  4. Hope

    At your age group the hormone levels are heightened and lowered more extremely and this affects your mood and feelings and can make you angry hugely impatient, absolutely feeling anti social even with family; down and lacking confidence; and tired – wish someone told me this so I felt normal at the time. It can last til early 20s depending on Individual growth. Best advice I can give is once you hear these things you feel it happening and being aware of it you tend to stop yourself mulling too long on your own relax bit more often so you stop getting too tired get bit of outdoor exercise and the knowledge of this being normal really helps you prevent getting over tired or too antisocial or out of sorts with loved ones – get regular time out that’s restive not isolative

  5. does it matter


    I am depressed soooo bad, i love my family and wife, but at times want to just go hide somewhere, away from everything and everyone, and even thinking about a escape from this reality. I just cant help feeling sad and tired all the time, i cant sleep properly or even enjoy any of my hobbies anymore. i just dont know what to do anymore…

  6. Sam

    Hi team,

    I don’t feel good about myself and have no one that I feel I can talk to… I am often the one my friends come to for a chat if they have problems or just need to vent. The one time I did try to talk to someone she basically told me to ‘harden up’ which I did and i pushed those feelings down deep inside. The problem is that every once and a while they raise there ugly head and I have to go in to hermit mode so no one sees me like that. I hate it and feel very alone and isolated from everyone around me. I wish I had the balls to talk about it but I am more scared of being rejected and being told to ‘harden up’ than I am of being depressed. I’m all smiles and laughter on the outside but on the inside I’m a sad, crying mess and feel as if my life has no purpose. I’m far from suicidal I love my friends and family too much to even think those thoughts but really wish I had a ‘me’ to talk to sometimes.

    Thanks for letting me say how I feel. That is the first time I have actually said something and got to finish what I want to say… I really Don’t feel any better but is more of a relief to be able to say how I truly feel on the inside.