Mental Health Awareness Month: The Most Common Types of Depression in Men
Dr. Angel Rivera
Depression can make everyday life feel insurmountably difficult. The mood disorder causes perpetual sadness that can lead to losing interest in daily tasks and activities. Though depression may be isolating, if you’re experiencing a form of the mood disorder, you’re far from alone. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 17.3 million American adults have had at least one major episode of depression and out of that chunk of the population, 6.3 million were men.
As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, we have compiled a guide of the most common types of depression in men.
Subtypes of Depression
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal Affective Disorder is mood disorder that’s linked to seasonal change. The majority of cases are linked to people feeling depressed during autumn and winter with symptoms dissipating in the spring and summer. 5% of American adults are impacted by Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Persistent Depressive Disorder
Also referred to as dysthymic disorder, persistent depressive disorder impacts 1.5% of American adults. Though symptoms may last for two or more years, it’s not as intense as major depression.
Individuals diagnosed with minor depression experience similar symptoms to people facing major depression. However, their symptoms are less acute and last for a shorter period of time. Minor depression is pretty widespread: 16% of adults have shown symptoms associated with minor depression.
In their lifetimes, 4.4% of American adults experience bipolar disorder. Though it’s a mood disorder that may lead to depressive episodes, it’s not medically categorized as a form of depression. Bipolar disorder manifests as drastic changes in mood. An individual diagnosed with this mood disorder may experience manic periods of elevated mood and energy followed by episodes of depression.
Knowing The Symptoms
Here are a few symptoms associated with depression:
- Issues sleeping (excessive sleepiness or insomnia)
- Consistent feelings of dreariness and despair
- Feeling irritable and angry
- Decrease interest in pleasurable activities
- Fluctuations in weight (weight loss or weight gain due to increase or decrease of appetite)
- Feeling anxiousness and guiltiness
- Scattered thinking
- Physical pain
How To Be Proactive About Your Mental Health
Approximately 6 million American adults who have depression don’t receive treatment.
Unfortunately, compared to women, men tend to avoid getting treatment for their mental health issues and are 3.56 times likelier to commit suicide.
In addition, particularly in men under the age of 40, depression has been linked to erectile dysfunction. A crucial part to combating mental health issues is encouraging an honest conversation about how depression manifests in our daily lives.
If you think you’re experiencing symptoms of a mood disorder, you can reach out to a psychiatrist to figure out a strategy on how to move forward.