Men and Depression – How to Help a Depressed Man and Keep the Relationship With Your Man Strong

How to Help a Depressed Man and Keep the Relationship With Your Man Strong

You may think that men don’t get depressed. Yet the truth is quite the contrary, they do, but they tend to hide it well. Men tend to deal with depression differently than women and may show different signs that they are depressed. Depression is often a hidden problem with men since many men tend to suffer in silence, rather than talking about their feelings. And that can lead to relationship problems.

Historically, depression has been thought of as mostly a problem for women, but now we know that depression is a problem for men, too. Depression in men may go undetected. In fact, men may not realize they are depressed, although they may recognize they are feeling stressed. And their health care providers often miss the telltale signs.

Everyone has down days. Those are common. But depression is something that lasts for a period of more than a week or more and not common occurrence in life. If it goes unresolved, it can have a disastrous effect on personal functioning, relationships, and his career. It can result in permanent personality changes, uncharacteristic moodiness, create communication problems, spur conflict, and lead to relationship problems or marital distress. Thus, depression is a condition that must be recognized and treated for men to function at an acceptable level.

 : quiet senior bald man isolated on white relationship

Usually, there’s a root cause for his depression, whether it’s something at work, at home or something in another area of his life, there’s something that he feels he’s lost control of and his ability to recover that control is having an impact on his emotions.

What Are Signs?

1. Men who are depressed may suddenly become irritable and quick to anger. Non-aggressive men may become more aggressive and hostile.

2. Some may abuse alcohol or drugs, or turn to food for comfort, although some may eat less. It really depends on the person and his circumstances.

3. While exercise usually helps to combat depression, a few men will through themselves into it too much, while others will stop altogether.

4. One man may throw himself into a favorite hobby whereas a workaholic may become more dependent upon work …while ignoring his relationships.

5. Men may show typical signs of depression, too, such as feelings of fatigue and burn-out, sleep disturbances and decreased libido. Thought patterns may change; men may think more negatively and perceive the world in darker, more threatening ways. This can be a subtle change.

6. Depressed men may start feeling anxious and worried, and respond poorly to daily problems or stress at work or home, either over-reacting or under-reacting. In most of these behaviors, he’s trying to avoid that area in his life where he has lost his control of it.

Most men won’t discuss the way they are feeling with anyone, and may not recognize the changes themselves. As a result of societal conditioning, they tend not to talk about their stress with their friends, unlike women, who tend to get support from other women.

The impact their depression can have on their family life and relationships is often nothing short of devastating.


Strategies for Helping A Depressed Man

First, if you notice that a man you care about is depressed, the best thing you can do for him is to listen to him and be understanding. Let him know how much you care, mentioning that you have noticed one or two indications of his behavior and let him know how much it worries you. Go gently …and see if you can get him to open up about how he’s feeling. Express your concern. Avoid being critical and don’t blame anyone. Just listen and tell him how concerned you are.

Strange as it may seem, try to match his emotional tone level to fully understand where he’s at. Once he sees that you can be understanding of his dilemma he’s should begin to open up about the cause of his depression. Once you can get to the root cause and have him talk about it, you both have taken the first step to recovery.

Second, try to determine the cause of his depression, which may mean a trip to the doctor for a blood panel to make sure that the underlying cause isn’t a chemical imbalance. Determining the cause will tell you how you should approach his recovery.

It’s possible that just being overweight or obese might be causing him to be down in the dumps as fat cells secrete a substance called cytokines that cause inflammation in the brain. Chronic inflammation impairs learning and memory and is associated with depression and Alzheimer’s disease. More on this can be found from Dr. Daniel Amen‘s book, The Amen Solution.

Third, if the first two steps didn’t help, try to get him to see his doctor, and encourage him to talk to the doctor about his depressed feelings. The physician can take blood tests and make a referral for counseling or prescribe helpful anti-depressant medication if needed.

Fourth, more often than not, a change in diet may do more than anything else to bring a man out of a depression. A lot of times it’s the food we feed ourselves that causes our moods to swings. Again more on this can be found from Dr. Daniel Amen‘s book, The Amen Solution. More can also be found at A Time For A Cure.

Be persistent and don’t give up, as long as you proceed in a non-threatening manner. Remember, you want the man to view your efforts to help him as a sign of your deep-felt concern, rather than an attempt to nag or harass him. He won’t end up feeling pressured by you if you always state your concern in non-demanding ways. A lot of times it helps to just ask for his help. Ask him to help you help him. Most men are more than willing to help those they love.

The way you say something is as important as what you say. Some sensitive men are hard to approach, but they tend to respond favorably when you talk to them in a direct, caring and gentle manner. Avoid allowing your body language or tone of voice to express anger or contempt.

Consider the impact depression can have on relationships, especially intimate ones. A man’s marriage can suffer because of his depression, and he may not realize what’s wrong. His wife will feel the impact, as well; so, his biggest support system may be compromised, which only compounds the problem.


If you are in an intimate relationship with a depressed partner, it is often best to seek counseling. It is much easier and more effective to sit down with a trained relationship professional to discuss your relationship problems.

Counseling is one of the best ways to face and deal with depression. It can be just as effective as medication, if not more so. The combination of the two can be even more effective.

Sometimes depression can become quite serious and lead to other mental health issues. It is best to take your relationship seriously.


Depression and Your Relationship


It’s easy to see how the depression of one spouse can injure the other. It can have a degrading impact on the relationship in general, giving both partners a sense of despair, and causing them to view the relationship pessimistically.

Long-term depression can also keep a relationship down. It is difficult for the non-depressed spouse to keep a positive attitude when he/she has to deal with an unhappy, sad or anxious spouse who has been depressed for a long time. Frequently, the spouse of the depressed person will blame himself/herself or interpret the depressed spouse’s actions as a rejection.



Depressed men may not know they are depressed and may not recognize the signs, and often choose not to talk about the problem. Yet depression can have a derogatory effect on relationships, careers and all areas of life.

To help a depressed man, look for signs of depression, such as behavioral changes, and talk to the depressed man in a sympathetic way. Avoid allowing depression to remain in the closet. Give the man in your life, whether it be your husband, father, brother or friend, lots of support and encouragement. Establish communication about your concerns.

Depression can have a serious impact on your relationship and can cause serious marriage problems.  Deal with it as a couple. Help your spouse get the help he needs. If there are problems in your relationship that are contributing to the depression, it is wise to address them. Don’t allow depression to rob you of joy and happiness. Take your relationship seriously.

Start Rebuilding Your Life Now:


 Determine Not To Let It Beat You

 : Suicide Man

Oppress Depression

Whatever You Do,

Don’t Let It KEEP Him Down

Discover How Easy It Is To

Help Him Get Over His Depression 

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