MALE DEPRESSION: How to Identify the Signs, Symptoms and Triggers of Male Depression


(upbeat violin music) – Hi, I’m Dr. Kim Sage, I’m a
licensed clinical psychologist in Newport Beach, California, and I help kids and adults heal and thrive through a range of
mental health challenges. This channel is all about mental health, and helping you know, heal,
and love yourself more. Today’s video is all
about men and depression, and what you need to know, because did you know that men’s depression doesn’t often look like
women’s depression? And as a result, men often get missed in their diagnosis entirely. They often don’t get treated
and because women tend to attempt suicide more often, but men tend to complete
suicide attempts more often, it truly can be fatal for you to not know the signs and symptoms
of depression in men. So at then end of this video you’ll know what those look like, and you’ll know the most
common ones, the most hidden, the most frequent ones. And so if you or someone you love is a man who is struggling with
depression, this video is for you. So the big issue is why do we often miss diagnoses in men’s depression? There are several factors. One of them is that women tend to go to the doctor more often. So, we tend to see our OBGYN’s, our primary care doctors, and because women tend to present with more “classic”
symptoms of depression, our symptoms are often more
recognized, treated, and seen. Now, men tend to do a couple
of things differently. They tend to have different
types of coping skills. They tend to, not all men,
but often deny their feelings and deny their depression
and wanna push it down because it doesn’t feel safe or they’re not really
sure what’s going on. And men aren’t really socialized, I think we’re changing that, but historically speaking
men have not been socialized to talk about their feelings and especially their negative, more depressive-type symptoms. Men often will find ways to
deal with their depression in ways that we often don’t think of as typically depressive. And so I’m going to go
into that in just a minute. So, we really just have a
failure to recognize symptoms, a tendency to deny those symptoms. The last one is that men
sometimes can often present in very physical ways. And I’m gonna get into that in a minute. But because the symptoms can present often hidden in things
like headaches, back pain, digestion issues, sexual dysfunction, these are some more reasons
why we often miss it in men. Many men have also learned
to focus on self control and emphasize self control. And so they often feel
they have some power to change and to sort of
manipulate the depression in a way that will make it go away. But that doesn’t always work. And so it’s this cluster of differences about men’s depression that
can make it really difficult to understand and see, and really important not to
miss the signs and symptoms. Okay, so let’s start with the
major symptoms of depression that men present with more than women. But before I do, let me just say this. Men do tend to have the
typical clusters of depression. Things like hopelessness,
tiredness, exhaustion, fatigue, lack of pleasure, lack
of motivation, insomnia, food or weight issues. Those typical clusters
I’ll link down below, men do often have, but in addition, they also present with
these next few symptoms that you don’t want to miss. So I’m going to get started with the most common symptoms
of male depression. And when I get done with those, you will know the major ones to look for. And we’re also going to
discuss some triggers so that you can also check around and see what else is going on and put some pieces together
with regard to depression about your partner or
someone you love as a man at the end of this video. Okay, so the first one, as I said before, men often have physical symptoms. And they will often be
things like back pain, headaches, digestion
issues, sexual dysfunction. There can be a cluster
of physical symptoms that don’t necessarily have
a linear connection, too, in terms of the medical issue. But men will often complain
in a very physical way. And the depression will
often present itself in a physical way in their bodies. The next one we often see
that is very common in men, and not so common in women, is anger, irritability,
just a general moodiness and crankiness, you know, above and beyond whatever your man’s “typical”
irritability might be. Or if at all. And so men will often present with, even sometimes violent and controlling and enraging behavior. And especially if you’re
seeing an irritability and a crankiness, and
even a rage, like I said, that are not typical for your partner or the person that you love. That could definitely be a sign. You might even see the fact that they’re losing their sense of humor, they’re expressing more road rage, they have less patience
with you or the kids, or they’re really pissed
at their boss all the time. They’re upset at work. And it seems to be their
reactions are much more irritable than they used to be. The next one that men
often do that you don’t see in women so much is reckless behavior. So, gambling, extreme substance use, which I’ll come back to in a minute, risk-taking behaviors, driving too fast. A lot of just sort of living on the edge and taking unnecessary risks, that can be a component
of male depression. The next one, as I said, is
substance use or dependence. So, a lot of alcohol, drinking, partying, drinking too much,
sitting in quiet, maybe, and drinking and using substances. Just engaging, even, in partying in a way that you really haven’t seen before. So, definitely an
increase in substance use can be one of the more classic signs. The next one that men often do is what we call escapist behavior. So, a lot of isolating, getting into sports alone, working too much, sort of
removing themselves from you. And really finding
themselves deeply entrenched. And either like watching
TV for hours alone, doing things like
watching sports for hours. And these are above and
beyond the typical, right? So, this would also be a shift in what you normally know
to see in your partner or a man that you love. They often will withdraw
from family and friends, they’re too tired, they
don’t wanna go do things with you and the kids they used to, or you as a partner, or
you and your friends. They tend to just be, generally speaking, removing themselves from life
in some way, and isolating. The next one that we can see
with men is sexual dysfunction. Now, if you’re taking antidepressants, obviously that can interfere
with sexual functioning. But men often will have a cluster of sexual dysfunction symptoms that they’re just way too
embarrassed to tell anyone about. And so we can see things
like erectile dysfunction, impotence, lack of interest
or motivation in sex. And all of these would also
be shifts and changes from behaviors and ways they had
engaged with you sexually or with themselves in the past. And because they’re often reluctant to share these symptoms, there can often be a shame or isolation or embarrassment that comes along with these type of symptoms that men don’t necessarily
know what to do with. And so it often leaves them more isolated, and feeling more a sense of failure or a lack of ability to perform, that can contribute to an
already-underlying feeling of depression and make things even worse. Additionally, men often
present with symptoms that have an anxious component to them. So you’ll see increased
anxiety, increased worry, and that often, like I
said, kind of clusters under the irritability. But that is often one you will see. And we know that anxiety and depression are often very closely linked together. And so this type of
worrying, or stressed-out, chronic stress behavior,
can also be a part of it. The other one is work or career issues. I think that when men are presenting whether they’re not
performing at work so well, they’re not meeting deadlines, they’re not engaged with work, they seem disconnected from work, you might begin to see a change and shift around work and work dynamics, and how a man feels and
talks and expresses himself about how he feels about work,
his boss, the environment, and his frustrations with work in general, you might often see that increasing if a man is depressed as well. So, those are the main symptoms in addition to the typical
symptoms of depression. Men often just don’t get
the kind of self-care and questioning about how
they’re doing and feeling like women do. And the truth is, guys, and women, men need self-care and
hobbies and love and support and emotional connection just like we do. It’s such a misnomer to think that men have less feelings
and aren’t as engaged and don’t care as much. Just like women, every man has a spectrum of his normal behavior,
his normal emotional range. And so, while we’re all different, we’re not that much different. We can still be extremely depressed and be trying to hide it. I think in male culture specifically, oftentimes men are taught
to suppress and hide and work through it and don’t show it. But when it gets to be significant, these types of behaviors and clusters like anger, irritability,
substance use, et cetera, they’re gonna push their way through because no one can mask
true clinical depression. It really is a difficult
thing to deal with. And it makes us desperate to
find ways to survive and cope. And so I just think, for
men, the way they cope often looks a little different
and, as I said before, they don’t really present the same way. So that makes it especially difficult. Okay, so the last part of this is, we just discussed what
the common symptoms are for depression in men, do you know what the common triggers are? That tend to help ignite depression? Now let me just say this, we know that depression
has a genetic component. If you have a family
history, you’re more likely. There’s an environmental
and sort of circumstance and life-based issue. There can be childhood-
and trauma-based triggers. Obviously you can have medical issues which can ignite or
contribute to depression. So, outside of those, some additional ones that can cause depression to
sort of begin to grow for men are often things around
work or career difficulties, ineffectively dealing with stress, excessive use of substances
like alcohol, marijuana, medications that are not prescribed, just an increased
substance use in general. Early childhood loss or
trauma, or trauma in general, we often don’t talk about
men and men’s trauma. And I’ll discuss that
more in the next video around men’s therapy topics. And dealing with chronic stress and life’s daily difficulties. Men often, I don’t think,
are given the same push toward self-care and self-regulation by taking good care of themselves. And so we’ll discuss that
more, too, in the next video. But a lack of that can
really also contribute and be the kindling, this
combination, for men’s depression. Now, let me just say once again, men do tend to succeed
more often than women when they do attempt suicide. It’s a very serious issue. Obviously if a man is
expressing suicidal thoughts, those would fall under
your classic symptoms. But the ones I discussed today don’t necessarily do that. I do wanna say as somebody
who has loved and lost a man with depression in this world, it has often been going
on for many, many years. And many men themselves often neglect treatment, the signs,
and getting the support that they need. I know that’s changing but I still think we can do a whole lot better. And so please know if you are considering not being here anymore, that you are loved and cared about and that there are many, many resources I will also link down below to help you. Please know that you are not alone and you deserve the love
and support and help that you truly do need. All right, so thank you
so much for listening, have a good rest of the day
and I’ll see you next time. Don’t forget, the next video is all about men’s depression and therapy topics and some ways to help men
and some ways to support men if they are struggling with depression. All right, thank you so much, I’ll see you next time, bye bye.

1 thought on “MALE DEPRESSION: How to Identify the Signs, Symptoms and Triggers of Male Depression

  1. Please feel free to share any thoughts, feedback or resources you think might be important to share around depression in men and those who love any man who might be depressed! xo kim

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