Substance abuse frequently accompanies depression. Research has shown that alcoholics are almost twice as likely to suffer from major depression as people without a drinking problem. It can happen for both men and women, but using drugs or alcohol to mask uncomfortable feelings is a strategy many men will employ instead of seeking health care. There’s a cultural bias of, ‘I should be able to fix this myself and so I’ll use what chemicals I have available to me to do that.
Psychomotor retardation can slow down a man’s ability to process information, thereby impairing concentration on work or other tasks. Depression fills one with negative thoughts, almost like an intrusion. You’re slowed down and constantly thinking about negative things in your world. As a result it makes it very difficult to focus on anything. Depression is as a form of reversible brain failure.
People who are depressed undergo a series of physical and emotional changes. They can experience fatigue, as well as psychomotor retardation, or a slowing down of physical movements, speech, and thought processes. Men are more likely than women to report fatigue and other physical symptoms of depression as their chief complaints.
Sleeping too much or too little
Sleep problems—such as insomnia, waking up very early in the morning, or excessive sleeping—are common depression symptoms. [Some people] sleep 12 hours a day and still feel exhausted or toss and turn and wake up every two hours.
Like fatigue, sleep troubles are one of the main symptoms that depressed men may discuss with their doctor, experts say.
Stomachache or backache
Health problems such as constipation or diarrhea, as well as headaches and back pain, are common in people who are depressed. But men often don’t realize that chronic pain and digestive disorders go hand in hand with depression, according to focus groups conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health. People who are depressed do genuinely feel bad physically.