While it's true that women and men can have the same standard symptoms of clinical depression (check them out here), apparently a lot of men have a different experience of The Big D than we do.
Because of that, when they get depressed, we might not spot it.
Whereas women (who are diagnosed with depression at twice the rateof men) can walk into a gynecologist's office, complaining of things like chronic sadness, self-criticism, and crying, and get a prescription for antidepressants alongwith a pap smear.
Not that I'm thrilled with gynecologists diagnosing depression and prescribing antidepressants for women as often as they do!
The point is that it's more "socially acceptable" for women toacknowledge - to friends, partners, or health care professionals - that they're feeling overwhelmed emotionally and mentally, and to ask for help.
Whereas depressed men are less likely to acknowledge the emotional and mental struggles they're having...even to themselves. And if those inner struggles are related to a man's job stresses - a common trigger in male depression - you, as the woman in his life, might never know.
Instead, when a man is battling with The Big D, he'll probably complain about these types of problems:
• fatigue• sleep disturbances• concentration difficulties• headaches or stomach pains• loss of interest in work, hobbies, or sex
If you're the woman in his life, you might notice other things about his behavior that can also be associated with depression:
• anger• irritability• frustration• compulsive over-working• alcohol or substance abuse• increasingly isolating himself from family and friends• risk-taking (e.g., reckless driving, having affairs, etc.)
Not that men never cry with depression, or women always do. But notice that "chronic sadness and crying" - a more narrow, traditional concept of "female depression" - is NOT on these male depression lists.
That's because depressed guys are more likely to seem super-grouchy, super-withdrawn, and/or self-destructive. You know that it's got to be a private hell for them. And these ways of manifesting depression can take a huge toll on a relationship.
So, once you think you've spotted The Big D in your guy's life, do what you have to do to get him - and your relationship - in for some professional help. He probably believes that he has to "tough it out" alone like a "real man" would, but that's just not the case anymore.
If he has a bio-chemical depression, the right antidepressant could radically change his life...and yours.
A severely depressed man who isn't getting help canturn super-grouchy into being violent - or super-withdrawn and self-destructive into being suicidal. Although women are twice as likely tobe diagnosed with depression, men are four times more likely to commit suicide.
If you think your guy is on the "very depressed" end of the spectrum, seek help immediately.