Clinical depression—in women or men—can cause sadness and a loss of interest in once pleasurable activities. But depression can sometimes manifest in different ways in different people.
While the symptoms used to diagnose depression are the same regardless of gender, often the chief complaint can be different among men and women.
You can’t go after one symptom, but instead have to assess a group of symptoms. Here are signs of depression in men.
Although men don’t always talk about feelings of depression, depression in men is common. Learn about the symptoms of clinical or major depression in men
Instead of seeming down, men who are depressed often show signs of irritability. If they talk about an emotional component, it could be sadness with irritability. In addition, negative thoughts are a common aspect of depression. Men will report feeling irritable because they are having negative thoughts constantly.
Men might be more likely to report symptoms of depression as stress. It’s not that they have more stress; it’s that it’s more socially acceptable to report it. Stress and depression can also travel a two-way street. It’s accurate to say that feeling stressed can be an indicator of having clinical depression but also be part of the cause. Research has shown that prolonged exposure to stress can lead to changes both in the body and brain, which can in turn lead to depression.
Anger or hostility
Some men manifest depression by being hostile, angry, or aggressive. A man who realizes something is wrong may need to compensate by demonstrating that he is still strong or capable. Anger and hostility are different than irritability. Anger tends to be a stronger emotion. Irritability is a crankiness. Men can also become hostile when they have withdrawn as a result of their depression and feel under pressure by friends or family to rejoin society.
Depression is a common reason for loss of desire and erectile dysfunction (ED), and it’s one symptom that men are inclined not to report. Performance problems can come from depression and make depression worse. However, ED can be the result of other medical conditions or medications (including antidepressants), and ED by itself does not signal depression.