More than 16% of U.S. adults — around 1 in 6 — will experience depression in their lifetime.
With the pandemic, this is even more of an issue than before. Although the statistics show that diagnosis of depression is more common in women, it is acknowledged that men are probably under-represented in that statistic. Men are less likely to seek help. And sometimes it is difficult to acknowledge depression because depression often looks different in men.
Men die by suicide at a much higher rate than women. 75% of people who die by suicide are men. Globally, on average, a man dies by suicide every minute of every day. This is a topic that is under-discussed and underappreciated, and therefore men are not getting the help they need for this common, yet deadly disease.
It is important to me that we bring it out in the open. Seeing it, acknowledging it, honoring it, and getting help are the only ways we are going to help fewer men suffer and die from the consequences of untreated depression, PTSD, anxiety, and other mental health concerns.
- Anger, irritability, or aggressiveness
- Feeling anxious, restless, or “on the edge”
- Loss of interest in work, family, or once-pleasurable activities
- Problems with sexual desire and performance
- Feeling sad, “empty,” flat, or hopeless
- Not being able to concentrate or remember details
- Feeling very tired,
- Not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much
- Overeating or not wanting to eat at all
- Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
- Physical aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
- Inability to meet the responsibilities of work, caring for family, or other important activities
- Engaging in high-risk activities
- A need for alcohol or drugs
- Withdrawing from family and friends or becoming isolated
What are some of the most common reasons for depression in men?
It is often multi-factorial. Many men push through long-term difficult things mentally and physically. This is wearing mind, body, and spirit. Sometimes there is a hormonal aspect, such as thyroid, adrenal, testosterone, and more. Sometimes it is a nutritional deficiency that could be due to many reasons. Some people have a genetic predisposition and it is showing up. Sometimes it is burn-out. Sometimes it is due to grief and/or loss that has not been processed and just shouldered. Sometimes it is due to medications a man is on and is a side effect. Sometimes it is chronic pain or chronic conditions like diabetes that contribute. This is why it is so important to find all the factors contributing and why I take the time to do so with my patients.
Why is Telehealth a great option for treating Men’s Depression and Depression-related disorders?
Telehealth is easy, convenient, and available from the comfort and privacy of or your own home or office. Many people feel like they can open up easier with telemedicine. Even National Suicide and Depression hotlines are adding more tech-friendly options for reaching out, like text and email, and it is really helping people get access. My patients love telemedicine.
How experienced and comfortable is Dr. Litov with treating men struggling with depression?
I work with a lot of men with depression and other mental health, and physical health conditions. I see many men in my practice.