It’s not difficult to locate a list of depression symptoms or signs of depression. A simple Google search yields pages of results, compiling information from a wealth of credible mental health resources. We find that depression, anxiety and other mood disorders reveal themselves in different ways: feelings of hopelessness and helplessness; lack of vivacity; fatigue; changes in sleeping and eating patterns; difficulty concentrating, etc.
But the symptoms of depression don’t just manifest in different ways; they are also perceived in different ways. The signs of depression in women may feel different than the signs of depression in men, making it difficult for individuals to “check off” the depression symptoms in a standard list.
SIGNS OF DEPRESSION IN WOMEN
The Mayo Clinic reports that women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression. As clinicians, we understand that depression goes deeper than gender-specific biology. However, the hormonal changes that women experience over the course of their lives play an important role in their mental health. Postpartum depression and premenstrual dysphoric disorder are types of depression that are unique to women.
Women often experience feelings of guilt, exhaustion and weight gain as a symptoms of depression, in addition to other common signs of depression.
SIGNS OF DEPRESSION IN MEN
In the U.S., 5 million men struggle with some kind of depression each year. While the symptoms used to diagnose men with depression don’t differ from those used to diagnose women, men tend to recognize and exhibit the signs of depression differently.
Depressed men report feelings of fatigue, irritability and loss of interest in sex and other activities they were once enthusiastic about. Men may also experience anger, aggression and violent behaviors, and are at a higher risk of developing dependence on alcohol or drugs.
However the symptoms of depression manifest for you, it’s important to make positive lifestyle changes to help lift and stabilize your mood:urrounding yourself with friends and family members, getting active, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet rich with Omega-3 fatty acids and other mood-boosting nutrients.
When lifestyle changes don’t do the trick, seeking help from a mental health professional is the next step. A mental health clinician will be able to guide you to a more effective solution, whether through therapy or medications, such as depression medications or ketamine infusions.