Depression is a common emotional disorder that can occur in men of any age. Statistics show that 1 in 8 men has a depressive disorder.

Recognizing Depression in Men

Depression is a common emotional disorder that can affect a person's ability to feel, think, and handle daily activities. Both men and women can have depressive disorders, but their symptoms can be very different. Men with depression may appear to be angry or aggressive instead of sad, so their family, friends, and even doctors may not always recognize anger or aggression as depression symptoms. Additionally, other symptoms such as heart palpitations, tightening chest, ongoing headaches, or digestive issues can be signs of a mental health problem. Many men are more likely to see a doctor about physical symptoms than emotional symptoms.

Depression can happen to men of any age. Statistics show that 1 out of every 8 men has a depressive disorder. Signs of depression affect each person in different ways. Some common symptoms include:

  • Anger, irritability, or aggressiveness

  • Feeling anxious, restless, or “on the edge”

  • Loss of interest in work, family, or once-pleasurable activities

  • Problems with sexual craving and execution

  • Feeling sad, empty, flat, or hopeless

  • Not being able to concentrate or keep in mind points of interest

  • Feeling very tired, not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much

  • Overeating or not wanting to eat at all

  • Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts

  • Physical aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems

  • Failure to meet the obligations of work, caring for family, or other important activities

  • Engaging in high-risk activities

  • A need for alcohol or drugs

  • Withdrawing from family and friends or getting separated

WARNING: The symptoms listed are for reference only. If you suspect you have depression, see a psychologist or mental health professional to get an accurate diagnosis of your issues.

Why Is Depression Often Undiagnosed In Men?

Men with depression often go undiagnosed for many reasons, the most common are:

Not Recognizing Depression

Depression can appear in many different forms and is not necessarily a feeling of sadness or emotion. In men, physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive problems, tiredness, irritability, or long-term pain can sometimes be signs of depression. Men can feel isolated and find ways to distract themselves to avoid facing their emotions or relationships.

Downplaying Symptoms

Individuals may not be aware of how depression symptoms affect them, or they may not want to admit to themselves or anyone else that they are experiencing depression. However, ignoring or hiding the symptoms of depression often does not solve the root problem, and can even make the situation worse.

Not Wanting To Talk About Depression Symptoms

Men may not want to talk about symptoms of depression or be open about their feelings with family, friends, or health care professionals. They tend to focus on self-control and believe that expressing emotions is considered unmanly, so they try to hide or suppress their feelings, especially when it involves depression. 

Not Wanting To Get Mental Health Treatment

Even if an individual is aware they are at risk for depression, he may not want to be diagnosed or treated. Feeling worried about stigma and losing respect from family, friends, or colleagues can make acceptance and finding support more difficult.

Coping With Depression

If you feel like you are experiencing symptoms of depression, the most important thing is to see a healthcare professional or psychologist as soon as possible. Research shows that earlier treatment may relieve symptoms faster and shorten the time needed for treatment.

Some other methods that may assist you include:

  • Spending time with other people and talking with them about your feelings.

  • Increasing your level of physical activity. Regular exercise can help people with mild to moderate depression and may be one part of a treatment plan for those with severe depression. Conversation together with your healthcare professional about what kind of exercise is right for you.

  • Breaking up large tasks into small ones, and tackling what you can as you can. Don’t attempt to do too many things at once.

  • Delaying important decisions until you feel better. Talk about choices with others who know you well.

  • Keeping a consistent daily routine, such as eating and getting sufficient sleep. Lack of sleep has been known to worsen depressive symptoms.

  • Avoiding relying on alcohol or addictive substances.

  • Having proper self-care activities.

Current Popular Depression Treatment Methods


Antidepressants can be effective in treating depression but can take several weeks to work. Often with medication, symptoms such as sleep, appetite, and concentration problems improve before mood improves, so it is important to keep taking the medication for a few weeks to see if it is effective or not.

However, antidepressants can have side effects such as headaches; nausea or abdominal discomfort; difficulty sleeping and nervousness; agitation or restlessness; and sexual problems. Although antidepressants may be safe and effective for many people, they can pose serious risks for some, especially children, teens, and young adults. Antidepressants may cause some young people to have suicidal thoughts or may increase the risk for suicide attempts, this is especially true for people who are agitated when they first start taking the medication and before it begins to work. Therefore, anyone taking antidepressants should be closely monitored, especially when they first start taking them.

WARNING: Be extremely cautious when using medication and only use medication with the advice and prescription of a clinician.


Psychotherapies or “talk therapies” can help treat depression, some of which are even as effective as medications. Psychotherapy helps individuals develop new ways of thinking and behaving, as well as changing habits that may contribute to depression. It can also help men understand and work through difficult situations or relationships that may be causing or making the condition more awful.

Cognitive - Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), and Problem - Solving Therapy are examples of evidence-based talk therapy treatments for depression.

Combination Therapy

Treatment for depression should be personalized, not everyone will have the same course of treatment. Some men may try psychotherapy first and use antidepressants later if needed. Others may begin treatment with both medication and psychotherapy. This depends on each individual's characteristics and condition, so seeing a healthcare professional or psychologist is extremely important.

How To Help Someone With Depression?

If you think your relative or friend is suffering from a depressive disorder, what you need to remember is that people with depression cannot simply "snap out of it" on their own. They may not recognize their indications and may not want to get professional treatment.

You can support them by helping them find a doctor, mental health professional, or psychologist and then helping them make an appointment. Even men who have difficulty realizing they are depressed may agree to seek help for physical symptoms, such as feeling tired or run down. They may be ready to talk to their doctor about a new difficulty they are having at work or a loss of interest in doing things they usually enjoy. This can be the first step in understanding and treating possible depression.

Other ways to help include:

  • Provide them with knowledge about depression, be patient, and encourage them

  • Listen carefully, attentively and allow them the space to share their stories

  • Never ignore their comments about suicide: Suicidal ideation is as serious as it is sensitive. While it may be tempting to either overlook or immediately suggest they go to a doctor, it may be prudent to sit with them and simply lend a caring set of ears. Your mere presence and demonstration of care can do much good. 

  • Help them increase their physical and social activity levels by inviting them for hikes, games, and other events. If they say “no,” keep trying but don't push them to take on too much too soon.

  • Encourage them to report any concerns about the medication to their doctor

  • Make sure they see a doctor or psychologist regularly

  • Remind them that depression will get better and better over time if treated promptly.

In many cases, a crisis can be avoided when friends or family members who are involved in the treatment of the person with depression can recognize crisis warning signs. Warning signs are different for each person. It may be more difficult for this person to sleep and become more agitated; for others, it might mean sleeping more, skipping meals, and focusing on disturbing thoughts. List these warning signs and contact healthcare professionals to help them avoid a crisis.

If you feel you are having symptoms of depression, go to a medical facility for timely examination and diagnosis, or contact the Vietnam - France Psychology Institute via Hotline: 0979.158.463 for specific advice. Early intervention is key to improving health and quality of life.

Tham khảo:

[1] Men & Depression.

[2] Depression in men.

[3] Male depression: Understanding the issues.



HEADQUARTER & PSYCHOTHERAPY CENTER: WINCO Building, 54 Tran Quoc Vuong Street, Dich Vong Hau Ward, Cau Giay District, Hanoi, Vietnam

PSYCHOTHERAPY CENTER IN HCMC: Landmark 81 & Landmark Plus, Vinhomes Central Park, 720A Dien Bien Phu Street, Ward 22, Binh Thanh District, HCMC, Vietnam

Phone: 0979.158.463 (Business hours)


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