Men are less likely to discuss their mental health

Depression is different for men

Never cry. Don’t show your feelings. Man up. Sometimes social pressures convince men that they cannot talk about their emotions, mental health or depression.

We want to show men that their mental health is just has important as their physical health, especially during Movember—the month celebrating men’s health.

4 ways depression feels different for men

Turns out, men are not as likely as women to report feeling depressed.

“Unfortunately, often men still equate being depressed as being weak or a failure,” says Kimble Richardson licensed mental health counselor with Community Behavioral Health. “When someone has a broken bone we know there’s a problem because it can be seen. Symptoms of depression can be more internal and often are not noticed until they’re severe. If more men recognized that depression is an illness and not a weakness, it literally would save lives.” 

Because social cues encourage men to keep their emotions to themselves or to solve their own problems, they internalize depression and become numb (unlike women who tend to focus on their emotions when depressed), according to research shared in the Wall Street Journal. This means that the signs of depression in men are different that those in women. Here are some signs of depression in men:

  • Having trouble sleeping or a loss of energy in usual activities
  • Feeling like a failure
  • Becoming angry easier and/or more frequently
  • Thoughts of suicide

How to reach out

More and more public figures are speaking frankly about their depression. Recently, Bruce Springsteen opened up about how his and his father’s depression influenced his life. Ohio State head football coach, Urban Meyer, also recently revealed he had anxiety and depression and didn’t get help until his symptoms became almost debilitating.

The more we talk about mental health, the more men will feel as though they can share their emotions. Here are some ways you can start a conversation:

Call or text–If you want to talk about your depression, have concerns about a loved one, or especially if you have thoughts or plans of suicide, there are professional counselors standing by 24/7 to help. Call 317-621-5700 or Text HelpNow to 20121.

Talk to your doctor–Let your primary care doctor know if you’ve stopped doing things you enjoy, or changed your sleeping and eating patterns. He or she might recommend ways to track your feelings and activities.

Talk to your friends–If you feel down or depressed, talk to your friends. Checking in with our loved ones helps us feel connected and less overwhelmed.

4 ways to improve your mental health

Sometimes, we can begin to improve our mental health by taking small steps. If you feel like you need something to change your mood or negative thinking, try these activities:

  • Go outside
  • Get moving
  • Spend quality time with a close friend
  • Speak with a professional mental health counselor

If you’d like to learn more about the signs of depression, talk to your doctor or visit HaveHope.com.