Young man struggling with depression.

Does Depression Affect Men Differently?

According to the American Psychological Association, 9% of adult men in the US experience anxiety and feelings of depression every day. What’s worse, men are four times more likely to take their lives due to depression than women who have the same symptoms.

The high suicide rate among men isn’t because depression hits them harder, but because they don’t know how to deal with the condition.

Let’s take a closer look at how depression affects men:

Men Are More Prone To Substance Abuse

Men are more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol in the early stages of depression; this is especially true for teenage boys, who haven’t learned adequate coping mechanisms for complex emotions. Women, on the other hand, usually resort to substance abuse when they’ve been depressed for a while, and are overwhelmed by anxiety.

Men often suppress their feelings by drowning themselves in their jobs or turning to other outlets like sports or TV. Men are also more likely to engage in risky behavior like smoking, gambling, reckless driving, and having unsafe sex.

Depressed teenage boys are more irritable and have anger outbursts that can force others to maintain a safe distance from them.

Depression Is Less Noticeable In Men

Depressed man sitting alone.

Depression is definitely more common in women, and it hits them harder too usually. Although men do get depressed, it’s not as noticeable until it gets really severe. Even close loved ones may not be able to recognize depressive symptoms in men until they get severe.

It’s no secret that women are more in touch with their emotions than men; when they feel anxious or depressed, they take it as a signal that they need help and reach out to others.

On the other hand, men aren’t usually aware of their emotions. Instead of acknowledging and letting others know they’re upset, they’re more concerned with physical symptoms like insomnia, headaches, lack of energy, etc. They may complain of stress and have anger outbursts, but they’re less likely to approach people for help.

Men Respond Differently To Depression

While women are more likely to talk about their depression, men tend to keep their emotional problems to themselves because that’s what they’ve been conditioned to do.

Cultural conditioning leads to men looking at depression as a sign of weakness; admitting they have depression can feel like failure or defeat.

Men are often raised to believe that they can’t let emotions get the better of them, and being vulnerable is perceived as “feminine.” The inability to control their emotions can cause men to feel like a failure and withdraw from social situations, creating even more problems for them.


If you’re a man who’s struggling with depression, please know that it’s perfectly alright, and that you can heal. Azizeh specializes in male depression treatment. She’s worked with male clients of all ages and from all walks of life, and has decades of experience under her belt.

Men in San Jose or Palo Alto can schedule an appointment online or call (650) 206-9973 for a free 20-minute phone consultation.

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