Home » Identifying depression in men: 6 telltale signs you shouldn’t ignore

Identifying depression in men: 6 telltale signs you shouldn’t ignore

Depression is a pervasive and debilitating affliction that knows no gender boundaries. However, depression in men often presents differently than in women, as detailed in this article from the reknowned Mayo Clinic  and these differences can profoundly impact the individual’s life and relationships.

Men with depression may exhibit symptoms like low mood, fatigue, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, difficulty concentrating, changes in appetite, and sleep disturbances. These are the hallmarks of depression, but men are often more likely to display anger, irritability, and reckless behavior.

It not only affects them personally but also has the potential to negatively impact their relationships. Imagine feeling disconnected from your partner, family members, or friends because you’re trapped in a seemingly endless cycle of negative thoughts and feelings.

Depression is an affective disorder characterized by persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest in activities. It’s not just a passing mood or a sign of weakness, but a serious mental health condition that requires understanding and treatment.

Look out for prolonged low mood or irritability, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, significant weight loss or gain, insomnia or hypersomnia, frequent feelings of worthlessness or guilt, diminished ability to think or concentrate, and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.

Diagnosing depression in men can be difficult as they are often less likely to acknowledge feelings of self-loathing and hopelessness. Instead, they tend to complain about fatigue, irritability, sleep problems, and loss of interest in work and hobbies.

Depression’s effects on personal relationships can be devastating. It can cause communication problems, sexual difficulties, arguments over trivial matters, and even estrangement or divorce.


Identifying depression in men: 6 telltale signs you shouldn't ignore
© Canva


It’s time to learn more about depression in men and the signs to look out for. Being informed is a powerful tool that can help you, or someone you love, navigate the turbulent waters of depression.

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Understanding depression in men

Depression in men is a mental health disorder characterized by feelings of extreme sadness, loss of interest in activities, and a significant decrease in energy levels. Although it affects both sexes, men may experience it differently than women. Men may not easily recognize the symptoms or even deny them, making it a challenge for diagnosis.

When left untreated, depression in men can significantly impact personal relationships. The person may become withdrawn, irritable, or critical, causing friction and misunderstandings with partners, family, and friends. It’s crucial to understand the signs of depression in men and seek professional help.

Recognizing the signs

As per reputable sources on mental health like the American Psychiatric Association and Mayo Clinic, signs or symptoms of depression in men can include:

Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed

Feeling of helplessness or worthlessness

Difficulties with sleep; either insomnia or excessive sleeping

Irritability or restlessness

Physical problems such as headaches or stomach aches

In extreme cases, thoughts of death or suicide

Realizing the role of depression in your relationship

Recognizing these signs in your own life or relationship is the first step towards understanding and helping your loved one. Depression can gravely affect a person’s emotional well-being, making them feel isolated or burdensome. This can strain relationships, causing distance and resentment.

Coping strategies include open communication about mental health, seeking professional help together, and practicing empathy and patience. Remember, depression is not a character flaw but a medical condition that requires treatment.

Several high-profile celebrities have bravely unveiled their personal battles with depression, helping to bring light to this mental health issue. Some notable examples include:

1. Jon Hamm: Known for his roles in various films and TV series, Hamm has publicly discussed his struggle with chronic depression, using therapy and antidepressant medications as part of his treatment plan. He aims to break the stigma by openly acknowledging his mental health concerns.

2. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: The actor and former professional wrestler has discussed his bouts of depression on numerous occasions. After experiencing depression in his early twenties, Johnson encourages dialogue about mental health and emphasizes the importance of seeking help.

3. Prince Harry: The British royal openly addressed his struggles with depression following the tragic death of his mother, Princess Diana. His candid admissions about seeking professional mental health guidance have played a significant role in challenging the stigma surrounding mental health worldwide.

The impact of depression symptoms on your personal relationships

Depression symptoms can have a significant impact on personal relationships, affecting communication, intimacy, and overall relationship dynamics.

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When one partner experiences depression, it is essential to understand the potential challenges it may pose and seek support to navigate these obstacles together. The following are some of the ways in which depression symptoms can impact personal relationships:

Lack of Interest in Activities Once Enjoyed

In a relationship, if your partner shows a lack of interest in activities that were once enjoyed by both of you, it can be a sign of depression. They may withdraw from shared hobbies, social events, or even intimate moments, leading to feelings of rejection and a sense of disconnection.


Identifying depression in men: 6 telltale signs you shouldn't ignore
© Idxmatrix


Feelings of Helplessness or Worthlessness

Depression can cause your partner to experience feelings of helplessness or worthlessness. They may become excessively self-critical, doubting their abilities and value in the relationship. These negative perspectives can impact their confidence and erode the mutual respect within your relationship.

Difficulties with Sleep

Insomnia or other sleep problems can be closely linked to depression. Your partner may struggle with falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing restful sleep. These sleep difficulties can exacerbate irritability, fatigue, and a sense of unease, making communication and understanding more challenging in your relationship.

Irritability or Restlessness

Depression can manifest as increased irritability or restlessness in your partner. They may become short-tempered, easily annoyed, or exhibit signs of anxiety. This emotional state can make peaceful and constructive conversations more difficult, potentially leading to arguments or further emotional distance in your relationship.

Physical Problems

Depression can also manifest in physical symptoms such as chronic pain, headaches, or gastrointestinal issues. Your partner may experience recurring physical problems that can add to their anxiety and worry. This added strain can create further challenges within your relationship, as your partner may require additional support and understanding.

In Extreme Cases, Thoughts of Death or Suicide

If your partner expresses thoughts of death or suicide, it is crucial to take these signs seriously and seek immediate professional help. This is a critical situation that requires the assistance of mental health professionals. It can be emotionally taxing for you to navigate, but remember that you cannot shoulder this burden alone.

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Recognizing the signs: when to seek professional help

If you find yourself identifying with several of the following signs, it’s crucial to consider seeking professional help:

Feeling overwhelmed with sadness or despair

Struggling with constant anxiety or worry

Facing difficulties in performing everyday tasks

Experiencing unexplained physical pains

Having thoughts of self-harm or suicide

Why seeking help is important

Seeking assistance is crucial, both for the person displaying signs of depression and their partner.

Taking this step is essential because, without help, these feelings may intensify and have adverse effects on various aspects of life, including physical and mental health, relationships, and overall well-being. It’s important to remember that each case is unique, and seeking help is not a sign of weakness but rather an act of courage and resilience in reclaiming control over one’s life.

Moreover, by seeking help, both individuals can benefit from professional guidance tailored to their specific circumstances and needs.

Ultimately, seeking support can lead to improved understanding, coping strategies, and the restoration of a healthier and more fulfilling life for both partners involved.

Who can you turn to for help?

Remember that this article is just for guidance and only professionals can give advice on specific cases and find the right treatment.

There are several specialists you can approach based on the severity of your symptoms and your comfort level.

These include psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, and counsellors.

They are trained professionals who can offer various treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychotherapy, or even medication if necessary.

We encourage you to share this article with others who might be experiencing a similar situation.

Spreading awareness can give them the courage to seek help and improve their mental health. 

Depression is often overlooked in men due to societal norms and stereotypes.

However, it’s essential to acknowledge and understand that men can be just as susceptible to depression as women, and its impacts can be equally damaging.

Highlighting the importance of this issue can help break the stigma, encourage men to seek assistance, and promote better mental health for everyone.


Michael H. Clifton
Written by, Michael H. Clifton
Hi, I'm Daniel, a 37-year-old lifestyle writer with a passion for understanding the human mind. I live in the city but I also love taking nature walks to escape the urban hustle. Join me on my journey as I explore the balance between city life and the calming influence of nature.