One in 8 men experiences depression at some stage of their life. Men are more likely to recognise and describe the physical symptoms of depression (such as feeling tired or losing weight) than women. Men may acknowledge feeling irritable or angry, rather than saying they feel low.
Depression isn't just about feeling sad or frustrated. To clarify, it's about feeling out of control, powerless to handle emotions and unable to see a way out. It can affect anyone at any age. Moreover, it can be triggered by many things that go wrong in our lives. Everyone feels 'down' occasionally. However, if someone has been sad, moody, angry or unable to sleep or concentrate for more than a couple of weeks, it could be depression. A man might also lose interest in work, sport, sex, going out or other things he might previously have enjoyed.
Men can get depressed because of problems with their physical health; alcohol or drug abuse; loneliness; being unemployed; or bullying at school or work. Depression might also be due to a change in their life situation, such as a divorce or break-up, or even the birth of a baby.
Our GPs encourage men to discuss these issues so they can provide the appropriate mental health intervention and support.