Men and depression

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More than 4 times as many men as women die by suicide in the United States, even though women make more suicide attempts.

Why? Men may be less likely to get life-saving treatment for depression.
Depression is a real illness. But it's treatable, so get help. It can make all the difference.

We care about your health and helping you make wise care decisions. Understanding what kind of care you need is important.

If you think you have a medical or psychiatric emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. Do not attempt to access emergency care through this website. Learn more about what a medical or psychiatric emergency is.

Signs of depression in men

While both women and men can develop the standard symptoms of depression, men often experience depression differently and may have different ways of coping with the symptoms. If you're depressed, you may feel:

  • grumpy
  • irritable
  • isolated
  • withdrawn

You may also:

  • work all the time
  • lose your sense of humor
  • have trouble sleeping or sleep too much
  • drink too much or abuse drugs
  • compulsively seek thrills
  • physically or verbally abuse your family
  • stop being interested in the people or activities you used to enjoy, especially sex

Visit our mental and emotional health center to find basic facts, signs of depression, details about medications and other treatment options, ways to manage and overcome depression, and more. If you think you might be depressed, you can also email your doctor or make an appointment.

Use our interactive tool to find out if you or someone you know may have depression.

Depression in older men

Depression isn't a normal part of aging. It's an illness, and getting treated can improve your chances of recovering from other illnesses and prolong your life.

As you age, you may feel new kinds of stress that can trigger depression, for example, from retirement or losing friends or family.

Health problems like heart disease, stroke, or cancer can contribute to depression, as well as some medications, too.

If you find yourself complaining of physical symptoms, you're losing interest in the things you enjoy, or you're feeling sadness or grief, you might be depressed. Email your doctor or make an appointment.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health

Reviewed by: Mark Groshek, MD, March 2016
Additional Kaiser Permanente reviewers

© 2016 Kaiser Permanente

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