Nebraska Office of Men's Health

Men and Depression

  • Depression is a serious but treatable medical condition that can strike anyone regardless of age, ethnic background, socioeconomic status, or gender.
  • Depression may go unrecognized by those who have it, their families and friends, and even their physicians.
  • Men, in particular, may be unlikely to admit to depressive symptoms and seek help.
  • Depression in men is not uncommon: In the United States every year, depressive illnesses affect an estimated seven percent of men (more than six million men).
  • Research and clinical findings reveal that while both men and women can develop the standard symptoms of depression, they often experience depression differently and may have different ways of coping.
  • Men may be more willing to report fatigue, irritability, loss of interest in work or hobbies, and sleep disturbances rather than feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and excessive guilt.

IMPORTANT: If you are having symptoms of depression or know someone who is, seek help.

Symptoms of Depression
  • Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, being "slowed down"
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Trouble sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight changes
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
  • Restlessness, irritability
  • Persistent physical symptoms, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain.


Information Provided By:

National Institutes of Health
Department of Health & Human Services
National Institute of Mental Health
NIH Publication No. 03-5297


Local and National Resources
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A variety of treatments, including medications and short-term psychotherapies (i.e., "talking" therapies), have proven effective for depressive disorders: more than 80 percent of people with a depressive illness improve with appropriate treatment. Not only can treatment lessen the severity of depression, but it may also reduce the duration of the episode and may help prevent additional bouts of depression.

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