In 2019, men died by suicide 3.63x as often as women (1).
Depression is a major risk factor for suicide.
Can depression look different in men?
According to the National institute of Mental Health (2), different men have different symptoms, but some depression symptoms (in addition to depressed mood and loss of interest) experienced by men include:
- Anger, irritability.
- Feeling anxious, restless, or “on the edge”
- Loss of interest in work, family, or once-pleasurable activities
- Problems with sexual desire and performance
- Feeling sad, “empty,” flat, or hopeless
- Not being able to concentrate or remember details
- Feeling very tired, not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much
- Overeating or not wanting to eat at all
- Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
- Physical aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
- Inability to meet the responsibilities of work, caring for family, or other important activities
- Engaging in high-risk activities
- A need for alcohol or drugs
- Withdrawing from family and friends or becoming isolated
Not every man who is depressed experiences every symptom. Some men experience only a few symptoms while others may experience many of the above symptoms (2)
Many men are more likely to see their doctor about physical symptoms noted above (which could be related to depression) than emotional symptoms (2).
What is being done to help address the disparity in men’s mental health?
- OSU-CCS Movember men’s mental health campaign. This is a variety of programs to address OSU men’s college student mental health.
- National Movember Men’s Mental Health movement. This site also has more information on other health disparities experienced by men.
By R. Ryan S Patel DO, FAPA OSU-CCS Psychiatrist
Disclaimer: This article is intended to be informative only. It is advised that you check with your own physician/mental health provider before implementing any changes. With this article, the author is not rendering medical advice, nor diagnosing, prescribing, or treating any condition, or injury; and therefore claims no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or injury caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented.
- The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. https://afsp.org/suicide-statistics/