Depression in men

In general, men tend to put off getting any kind of help because they think they're supposed to be tough, self-reliant, able to manage pain and take charge of situations. This can make it hard for men to acknowledge they have any health problems, let alone a mental health problem.

Depression is a serious and common condition which won't get better by itself. If you had a broken arm or a deep cut on your foot, you wouldn't expect that to heal without medical help. It's the same with depression.

But what is depression? How is it different to just being sad for a bit?

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. Everyone feels ‘down' occasionally but if you've been sad, moody, angry or unable to sleep or concentrate for more than a couple of weeks, it could be depression. You might also lose interest in work, sport, sex, going out, or other things you used to enjoy.

Depression is very common, with 1 in 8 men experiencing it at some stage of their life. You need to know the signs – not only for you, but also for your mates and family. Check out a list of signs and symptoms. You can also take the Anxiety and Depression Test (K10) to see how you're tracking.

There are different types of depression, and it's not easy to say exactly what causes it because it's different for each person. However, there are some known risk factors for men. But the good news is that there are actions you can take to combat depression.