Men’s Health Week 10 June to 16 June 2024: Mental Health Matters

June 11, 2024

June is Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month

Did you know that 1 in 8 men suffer from depression at some point in their lives?

What is depression?

Depression is a serious mood disorder that affects both men and women across all age groups. It leads to a persistent feeling of sadness, hopelessness and loss of interest in activities you’d normally enjoy.

There are many symptoms – both emotional and physical

Depression in men

While the common perception is that women suffer more from depression, and statistics reflect that, men are less likely to speak out and seek help. This means that lots of cases of male depression are undiagnosed.

‘Sometimes, men would rather not talk about their feelings and instead may turn to other, potentially destructive ways of coping’. ‘Their unwillingness can be down to not wanting to show themselves as vulnerable.’

Male depression may appear differently

Another reason that men don’t often ask for help, is that they ‘might not recognise themselves in the symptoms that are described.’ For example, the traditional signs of depression like a low or depressed mood, change in sleep patterns and losing pleasure in things they enjoy, may not be the first thing depressed men notice about their experience.

Men may still feel sad and lose interest in activities they used to enjoy but they may also show other signs not necessarily associated with depression.

Here are some of the signs of depression in men to look for.

Emotional signs

  • Anger
  • Irritability
  • Frustration
  • Loss of interest in work, social life or hobbies
  • Indecisiveness or inability to concentrate

Behavioural signs

  • Withdrawing and isolation
  • Alcohol 
  • Overworking
  • Suicidal thoughts

Physical signs

  • Sleep problems
  • Changes in appetite and eating
  • Weight changes
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Loss of libido
  • Loss of energy

What causes depression in men?

There are several common causes of depression and mood swings in men, and these can lead to depression in women too.

Age, financial circumstances, lifestyle, illness, family history and even genetics have been shown to affect the likelihood of depression in men. There may be a trigger or series of stressful events which can lead to someone becoming depressed.

Dealing with any kind of loss is a possible cause to trigger depression. This could include a relationship breakdown, the death of a loved one or the loss of a job.

Treatment for depression 

When dealing with depression, it’s important to seek help as quickly as possible. This can make treatment a slightly easier and shorter process.

The GP can help you to better understand your problems as well as give you advice and support on how to deal with things that feel difficult.

A Clinical Psychologist can provide psychological therapies such as Interpersonal Therapy, Psychodynamic therapy to help manage your depressive symptoms.