It’s natural to feel down or anxious from time to time. We all do. What’s not natural, however, are prolonged feelings of hopelessness and despair. When these type of emotions are present more often than not, it could be one of the signs of depression in men.

Depression can make every day a constant challenge. It may suddenly seem like you no longer enjoy most, if any, aspects of life. The littlest things can feel like the biggest challenges and simply getting out of bed can feel overwhelming.

While there are certain blanket characteristics of depression, depression can look different in men than in women. And more often than not, men are struggling with depression and don’t even realize it.

7 signs of depression in men

How can you tell if you are depressed? It may seem like an odd question but a surprising number of men don’t realize they’re struggling with depression. While some signs are obvious, others can be subtle.

Every individual will manifest symptoms differently, so it’s important to recognize any changes in behavior. With this in mind, here some warning signs of depression in men.

1. Changes in Weight

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Unexplained changes in weight can be one of the signs of depression in men.

Depression affects people in different ways. Some may find they have no appetite at all, and before they know it, they’re losing a significant amount of weight. Other’s may find their desire for food increases and they start packing on the pounds. More often than not men tend to lose their appetite and steer clear of food.

2. Changes in Sleep Cycles

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Can’t fall asleep or stay asleep? It could be one of the signs of depression in men.

Just like your appetite can go in either direction, so can the sleep. However, men often end up struggling to get enough sleep. This often gets misdiagnosed as stress as they usually find themselves laying in bed worrying about work, family, finances, etc.

3. Anger & Irritability

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If you feel like you’re more irritable than normal for no reason it could be a sign of depression.

Increased anger and irritability is a huge indication of depression for men. It’s often said that anger is depression turned inward. If you suddenly find yourself with a short fuse and irritable for no reason at all, it may be one of the signs of depression you need to pay attention to. 

4. Drinking More or Taking Drugs

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Increased substance use and abuse is often an indication of depression in men.

If it’s starting to seem like you’re going through that bottle of vodka more often than normal or your credit card is reflecting a higher balance at the bar than usual, this is a red flag. One of the tell-tale signs of depression in men is turning to alcohol or drugs to self-medicate.

5. Avoiding Family & Social Situations

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Isolation and avoidance of social events is often how depression shows up in men.

One of the classic signs of depression in men is isolation from others. This often looks like skipping out on family get-togethers and bailing on plans with friends.

6. Working Obsessively

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Workaholism in men is closely related to depression in men.

Believe it or not, many men struggling with workaholism are actually struggling with depression. If you find yourself unable to pull away from the computer or phone, it may be one of the signs of depression. When high functioning, over-achieving men suffer from depression it often shows up in the form of overworking.

7. Increased Risky Behaviors

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Engaging in risky behaviors is often a sign of depression in men – in addition to being a risk factor of suicide.

Men are encouraged by society to be risk takers. When things start to get out of control it can be one of the signs of depression. This can look like reckless driving, unsafe sex, gambling and illicit drug use.

Depression can be a debilitating force that takes over your life before you know it. If you’re wondering if you’re struggling with depression, find an awesome therapist or life coach you like and trust to help you figure things out.

James Killian, LPC is the Principal Therapist & Owner of Arcadian Counseling in New Haven, CT where they specialize in helping over-thinkers, high achievers, and perfectionists reduce stress, increase fulfillment and enhance performance so they can move From Surviving To Thriving.