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3 Signs of Depression in Men

Maybe you’re wondering why the nice guy in your life has been acting different lately—like a jerk. Maybe he seems irritated and crabby, or he’s having some uncharacteristic outbursts of anger, or he’s drinking way more than usual.

But maybe he’s not being a jerk at all. Maybe he’s depressed.

Turns out, men often express their depression differently than women do. Instead of crying, seeming sad, or talking about it, he might be going out of his way to avoid his feelings, even lashing out at friends and family in unexpected ways.

Depression, after all, is not an equal opportunity problem. Men are less likely than women to reach out for treatment of depression, or even realize that they may have it.  Research shows that men experience it a lot less often than women do. Scientists haven’t figured out exactly why that is, but worldwide, more than twice as many women as men suffer from depression.

“There are classic symptoms that everybody experiences,” says Kerrie Smedley, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist in Annville, Pennsylvania, “like loss of enjoyment, feelings of hopelessness and guilt, withdrawal, and focusing on flaws. But there are very real differences in the ways those symptoms are expressed. Men are much more likely to say they’ve got an anger problem. When I hear that, the first thing on my radar is depression.”

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