Why do we often miss depression in men, and in teenage boys? This might have something to do with it:
Part of the difficulty was that my friend’s symptoms were more about impatience, irritability, and anger than the behaviors we typically associate with depression, such as crying, moping, and an inability to get started with any task, because everything seems so daunting. And this is often a reason why depression in men can be more difficult to identify than depression in women. Depressed women tend to “act in” (sleeping too much, crying, overeating, drinking too much, failing to fully function, etc.), while depressed men tend to “act out” with unpleasant behaviors. So a depressed woman might look and act depressed, while a depressed man might just seem like he’s being a jerk.
Yes, plenty of men do get depressed with tears and an inability to function, and plenty of women express anger and rage when they’re depressed, but as a general rule, depressed women are more obvious about what they’re feeling, while men just seem unhappy and angry.
We know that many men, and women, but especially men, don’t even acknowledge that they are dealing with depression, let alone make any attempt to get help. Could it be because what we “think” depression looks like, doesn’t match what they are dealing with?
At various times in my life I’ve struggled, and that struggle has looked just like we normally picture depression to look, sadness, isolating, lack of motivation, etc. Other times I’ve struggled and it doesn’t look like that at all. I can be super motivated, but easily irritated, angry, boorish. Those emotions are my way of isolating, because I don’t really like anyone during those times. That’s depression doing it’s thing in my head, and it is no less of a struggle than when I “look” depressed.
Go check out the rest of the article for information on what to look for, and how to approach someone you think may be struggling. Or if it sounds like you, consider the possibility that what you are dealing with is not just frustration and irritation, it may be something more. Something that help is available for.