Depression: Do Men and Women Express it Differently?


Millions of people around the world battle with depression. They struggle with irritability, fatigue, insomnia, loss of interest, decreased sex drive, difficulties concentrating and making decisions, suicide ideation, and experiencing feelings of guilt, worthless and helplessness. There are more symptoms, but these are the most common. Depression affects women twice as much as men, but, did you know that it is expressed differently between both sexes? It is believed that these differences may be caused by biology and social norms. The following is a list of differences between women and men:

  1. depression
    Pic by: Ryoji Iwata

    During depression women describe their emotions a lot easier than men.

  2. It is less difficult for women to admit having depression, while men tend to overlook it by believing they are unhappy.
  3. Men have a higher probability to abuse alcohol and drugs.
  4. Men tend to use illegal substances before severe depression takes over, while women abuse drugs and alcohol after.
  5. Women are twice as likely to develop depression due to hormonal changes in adolescence and adulthood.
  6. Men are three times more likely to commit suicide, while women have a lot more attempts.
  7. Men can go undiagnosed because most of them don’t have the classic depressive symptoms.
  8. depression
    Pic by: Ryoji Iwata

    Men are less likely to seek treatment because of the “tough guy mentality” society imposes on them.

  9. Men find it easier to distract themselves when depressed. While women fixate on their feelings more.
  10. Men express their feelings of emptiness through aggression and angry outburst. While women express their feelings through sadness, crying, and feeling guilty.
  11. Women feel anxious and scared, while men feel suspicious and defensive.
  12. Women believe their situation can be improved if they are better, while men think their problem can be fixed if others treat them well.
  13. depression
    Pic by: Ryoji Iwata

    Men wonder if they are being loved enough, while women question if they are worthy of love.

  14. Women have a higher chance of developing and eating disorder when depressed than men.

Please keep in mind the differences stated above are a general overview. It might not apply to you or a loved one. Everyone expresses depression differently. Just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean you can’t express it like men and vice versa. The purpose of this article is to show some of the differences both sexes can exhibit. Do you agree with the list above? What other differences have you personally seen? Let me know in the comment section below.

Related: Depressed – 10 Things You Do / Recovery The Dark Truth

Checkout Psych2Go’s book about Mental Health Recovery

depressionCheck it out here: Mental Illness Recovery Book, “Something I truly enjoyed about this book is the simplicity and the variety of stories which are all focusing in one subject; mental illness. It’s amazing to see how this book connects each story to one another and to the reader. It provides a direct insight of living with mental illness and tips on how to overcome some disorders. If you feel lost, or if you want to help a friend or family member then this is the book for you.” -Carelyn

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