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Depression in men can sometimes look different than in women. A man might not openly cry or talk about feeling down. Instead he may act withdrawn and excuse himself as being distracted.
Depression is common in men, but can go undiagnosed. This is because men may discount the seriousness of their symptoms or not recognize them as signs of depression.
What is depression?
Depression is an illness, just like diabetes or heart disease. It's thought to be related to an imbalance of certain brain chemicals, such as serotonin. The cause of this imbalance may be genetic. It may also be triggered by loss, stress, or trauma.
When you have depression, you can't just snap out of it. Without medication, counseling, or a combination of both, it can last for months or even years.
What are the symptoms?
Feeling sad and losing interest in daily activities for at least 2 weeks may mean you are depressed. Having 5 or more of the following symptoms is also an indicator:
- A sad or empty feeling that doesn't go away
- Loss of interest or pleasure in most activities
- Unplanned weight loss or gain, or eating more or less than usual
- Changes in sleep habits
- Tiredness or lack of energy
- Feelings of being hopeless, helpless, nervous, worthless, or guilty
- Trouble with concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts about death or suicide
If you experience these symptoms, see your doctor. If you are thinking about harming yourself or others, call 9-1-1 to get help right away.
How do men experience depression?
Some experts think men have different symptoms when depressed than women do. More studies are needed to see if this is true, but experts report that depressed men may:
- Feel detached or alienated
- Lose interest in work or hobbies
- Withdraw from family and friends
- Engage in reckless behavior
- Focus on physical symptoms, such as fatigue, headaches, pain, or sleep problems
What can men do about depression?
Men may feel that they can handle depression on their own. But most people with depression need help to get better. The sooner you see your doctor, the sooner you may get back to feeling like your old self again.
Depression is a medical condition and can be treated effectively. Treatments may include:
- Prescription antidepressants. These medications can help rebalance your brain chemicals. Most antidepressants take several weeks to start working completely. The most common antidepressants are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. Many men fear the sexual side effects that may go along with antidepressants, but not all men react the same to these medications. If you do have sexual side effects, there are other types of antidepressant medications. Don't stop taking your medicine or change how much you take without talking with your doctor first.
- Psychotherapy or counseling. Talking with a mental health professional can often help you figure out ways to cope with issues in your life.One popular approach is called cognitive behavioral therapy. This treatment involves trying to change negative thinking patterns into more positive ones.
Use extra caution when taking depression meds
Anyone being treated with antidepressants should be watched closely. In a small number of people, buy priligy for depression can make symptoms worsen and suicidal thoughts could appear. Close monitoring may be especially important early in treatment or when a dose is either increased or decreased.