Men and Depression

depressionAccording to the American Psychological Association, 9 percent of men in the United States have daily feelings of depression or anxiety. 1 in 3 have taken medication because of those feelings. 30.6 percent have spoken to a mental health professional, according to the survey.

The suicide rate among American men is about four times higher than among women, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Women are more likely to attempt suicide but men are more likely to succeed.

White men age 85 and older have the highest suicide rate of any demographic group in the United States, four times larger than the population as a whole. Fifty-one out of every 100,000 white males older than 85 commit suicide each year, more than any other group by age, sex and race, according to 2012 statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Many men do not recognize, acknowledge, or seek help for their depression, reports The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). They may be reluctant to talk about how they are feeling. But depression is a real and treatable illness. It can affect any man at any age.

The most common types of depression are:

Major depression—severe symptoms that interfere with a man’s ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy most aspects of life. An episode of major depression may occur only once in a person’s lifetime. But more often, a person can have several episodes.

Dysthymic disorder, or dysthymia—depressive symptoms that last a long time (2 years or longer) but are less severe than those of major depression.

Minor depression—similar to major depression and dysthymia, but symptoms are less severe and may not last as long.

Fortunately, there are many treatments for depression. The first step to getting the right treatment is to visit a doctor or mental health professional. He or she can do an exam or lab tests to rule out other conditions that may have the same symptoms as depression. He or she can also tell if certain medications you are taking may be affecting your mood.

To learn more, read Men and Depression.