And nowhere is this more clear than looking at statistics around depression in men versus women.
Depression means your low, despondent moods and negative thinking are affecting your ability to be yourself. Even if you manage to hide the worst of it from those around you, your ability to cope at the levels you are used to is diminished.
Signs of depression are not just mental and emotional, but also physical. And these symptoms go on for six weeks, if not far longer. They include:
While many women feel sad when depressed, or cry more often than usual? For some men, depression can manifest as raised anger, irritability, and lashing out.
They are also more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol when depressed, or other destructive and reckless behaviours, like driving too fast or having affairs.
They might also manifest their moods as unexplained physical pain.
In summary, additional symptoms to look for in men include:
Despite advances being made, we live in a society where many men are still raised under the premise that being ‘masculine’ means being 'strong' and a provider. That emotions are 'feminine'. And in some cultures no changes have ever been made to this gender expectation.
This unfortunately means that men are more likely to deny they are not doing well, and are less likely to talk to someone when they are having dark thoughts or low moods. They are less likely to reach out for help.
The NHS reports that only 36 per cent of referrals for psychological talk therapies are for men.
And this leads to the most dangerous issue of all. Although women are more likely to attempt suicide, men are more likely to carry it through and succeed. They tend to be more definitive and use more lethal methods.
The Mental Health Foundation suggests that three times as many more men than women die of suicide yearly here in the UK, with men between the ages of 40-49 being the most at risk.
Pushing a man to talk when they don’t want to or when they never do is unlikely to work. It might just make them feel worse. Instead:
And if it seems like they are going to hurt themselves or someone else, call emergency services.
Are you a man who suspects he is depressed, but is nervous to try therapy? All therapists on our site are registered with professional bodies, and you can read their profiles and reviews before booking. If it doesn't feel a fit, you are free to try another therapist instead.