Depression in men statistics

Understanding Depression in Men

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Depressive disorders can affect people of all ages and genders, and each person’s experience can be significantly different depending on a variety of factors. In today’s post, we turn our attention toward the prevalence, symptoms, and potential impact of depression in men.

Depression in Men 

As the following statistics indicate, millions of men are affected by the symptoms of major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder, and other types of depression: 

  • The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has reported that about 6.2% of adult men in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the previous 12 months.
  • A July 2021 article in the AMA Journal of Ethics noted that men are half as likely to be diagnosed with depression than women are.
  • According to the American Psychological Association (APA), about 30% of men who have depression have taken medication to ease their symptoms and only about 25% have spoken with a mental health professional.

Suicide rates may be another indicator of the impact of depression in men.

While suicide is not solely associated with depressive disorders, it is a common concern among people who develop these conditions. Of the 49,449 deaths by suicide in the U.S. in 2022, 39,225 (or 79.3%) involved men. 

Does Depression Affect Men Differently?

The depressive disorders section of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) does not include gender-specific signs, symptoms, or effects. Thus, there are no “official” differentiators between depression in men and in women.

However, in practice, certain characteristics and effects seem to be more common among depressed men than among women who also have this condition. Examples of these characteristics and effects include:

  • Elevated propensity for anger or aggressiveness
  • An even higher risk of suicide
  • Increased likelihood of attempting to ignore or downplay symptoms
  • Greater resistance to seeking treatment

Differences in how men and women experience or exhibit the effects of depression may not be due to the disorder itself. Instead, these differences may reflect cultural expectations (or internalized beliefs) of how men are expected to act or react. 

Regardless of their cause, though, being aware of these potential differences can help friends and family members of men with depression understand what their loved is going through.

Signs & Symptoms of Depression in Men

If you suspect that a man in your life has developed a depressive disorder, keep an eye out for the following potential warning signs:

  • Pervasive sadness
  • Low energy and persistent fatigue
  • Little to no motivation
  • Headaches, stomach aches, muscle tension, and other types of discomfort that aren’t related to a physical illness or injury
  • Disrupted sleep patterns, which can include either sleeping too much (hypersomnia) or having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep (insomnia)
  • Significant changes in appetite, which can lead to noticeable unintentional weight loss or gain
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Irritability, which can often lead to arguments or other conflicts with friends, family members, and romantic partners
  • Uncharacteristic outbursts of anger, aggression, or violence
  • Acting impulsively and/or engaging in reckless or risky behaviors
  • Difficulty concentrating and focusing
  • Diminished performance in school or at work
  • Becoming easily frustrated with or overwhelmed by relatively minor problems
  • Spending increasing amounts of time alone, staying late at work, or otherwise avoiding loved ones
  • Abusing alcohol or other drugs, which can be a misguided attempt to improve their mood or numb their emotional pain

Anyone who exhibits symptoms such as these may be in crisis, and they should consult with a qualified healthcare provider. 

In addition to being potential signs of depression in men, many of the behaviors above are also associated with other mental health concerns. This is why it is so important to be assessed by a professional who can make an accurate diagnosis and then recommend appropriate treatment options.

How Are Men’s Depressive Disorders Treated?

Depression treatment often involves both medication and therapy. However, there is no standardized, one-size-fits-all approach for treating depression in men. 

Instead, the focus should be on assessing personal factors such as the type and intensity of a man’s symptoms, if he has also been struggling with addiction or a co-occurring mental health disorder, and how his life has been impacted.

Once these and other relevant pieces of information have been identified, an experienced treatment professional can develop a customized plan to ease the man’s symptoms and help him achieve improved quality of life. 

One of the first decisions usually involves identifying the right type of programming. At Montare Behavioral Health, depression treatment for men may take in place at one or more of the following levels:

Depending on the patient’s unique needs and the parameters of the program they are currently enrolled in, their care may include elements such as the following:

  • Prescription medications to provide symptom relief
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Individual psychotherapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy 
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy
  • Neurofeedback
  • Somatic therapy

Before a man completes his time in treatment, he should receive a detailed discharge plan to guide his continued progress. This plan may include professional referrals as well as information about peer support groups and other community-based resources

Contact Our Treatment Centers at Montare Behavioral Health

Montare Behavioral Health is a trusted provider of life-affirming care for men whose lives have been disrupted by depression, other mental health disorders, and co-occurring addiction. 

At multiple convenient locations throughout southern California, our mental health treatment facilities offer a full continuum of customized services, including inpatient and outpatient options as well as specialized programming for college students, young adults, and military veterans.

In every program at every location, our patients follow personalized treatment plans that are based on a thorough assessment of their history, needs, and goals. We understand that depression and co-occurring disorders affect different people in different ways, and we are committed to providing a unique treatment experience to every person who chooses to heal with us.

To learn more about us or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our Contact page or call us today.