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Help spot depression in the men you love

Written by Diane Archer

According to the National Institute for Mental Health, six million men in the U.S. are depressed. But, men are half as likely as women to seek help for their depression or any mental health problem, putting them at greater risk of suicide. Older men are at greatest risk of not being treated for depression and have the highest suicide rates. Help spot depression in the men you love.

Depression is a disease of the brain that generally can be treated through talk therapy and medications.  Eighty percent of cases are treatable. If left untreated, however, depression often leads to suicide.

Depression in men may go undetected and untreated for many reasons. Classic signs of depression include feeling sad, worthless or severely guilty. But, research suggests that men are more likely to feel pain or anger or to be irritable. They might also experience sleep problems, inability to concentrate, lack of energy or lack of interest in activities.

Men are more likely to conceal their depression than women and address it with drugs and alcohol. In addition, doctors may fail to diagnose depression in older men, focusing instead on their physical chronic conditions, such as heart disease or stroke. Experts believe that’s why men are three and a half times more likely to commit suicide than women.

That said, twice as many women experience depression as men.

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