If you feel sad, anxious, hopeless, or restless, it’s not just in your mind. These can be some signs of depression, a condition that affects more than 6 million U.S. men each year. While your instinct may be to keep these feelings to yourself, it’s important to recognize symptoms of depression and seek help immediately.
Both men and women can develop depression. However, men are much less likely to get help for it. Maybe you don’t want to talk about your feelings, or you don’t realize your symptoms mean you’re depressed. Fact is, men and women experience depression differently. For instance, guys are more likely than women to suffer sleep problems when they’re depressed. Depression can also make getting through your day-to-day life feel like a struggle.
One of the most important things you can do is identify signs of depression. These include:
Feeling sad or a sense of emptiness
Loss of interest in activities that once brought you joy, such as work, friends, family, and sex
Difficulty concentrating or remembering information
Changes in appetite
Thoughts of suicide
Pain such as headaches or digestive issues
Difficulty keeping up with your responsibilities
If you notice any of these signs, visit your healthcare provider. They can rule out other conditions that may cause depression-like symptoms or identify medicines you’re taking that may be impacting your mood.
Don’t wait for depression to go away on its own. The sooner you start treatment, the faster your symptoms may diminish. Getting help for depression early on might also decrease how long you’ll require treatment.
Some treatments, such as antidepressants, can take several weeks to work. In the meantime, here’s what you can do to feel better:
Stick to a daily routine.
Break up tasks into smaller ones and do what you can.
Spend time with people you enjoy being around.
Talk about your feelings with your partner or a close friend or relative.
Avoid making big decisions until you’re feeling better.
Men with depression are more likely to die by suicide than women are. If you’re having thoughts of taking your own life, call you provider, dial 911, or go to the nearest emergency room for help.