5 steps for men with depression

Though we may feel like the people we love have everything going for them, for sufferers of depression, life can feel like it has little meaning. They find it hard to get out of bed in the morning, going to work seems a pointless chore and they can no longer find pleasure in things they once enjoyed. And this type of depression is far more common than you might think, and is particularly prevalent among men.

Statistics from the Men’s Health Forum, a charity set up for the health and wellbeing of men in England and Wales, suggest that around one in 10 men are likely to suffer from depression at some time in life. And this figure may be just the tip of the iceberg as many men are reluctant to seek help and admit they have a problem.

The reason? Despite being so common there is still a certain stigma attached to depression. 'Lots of men don’t come forward as they are worried that it will make them seem weak,' explains Sara Richards from The Men’s Health Forum.

'But men need to realise that clinical depression is an illness not a weakness and medical help is often needed for recovery,' she adds. And with the right support and understanding, as well as treatment if necessary, it is possible to see the sunny side of life again.'

It's time for men to identify their feelings and seek help if necessary. Here’s how to take the first steps, with advice from the European Depression Alliance and Men's Health Forum:

Recognise the problem

Depression can be hard to recognise if you are in its grip. And as lack of energy and a feeling of worthlessness are typical symptoms you may find it hard to motivate yourself to seek help or even feel that you deserve it. Read more >

Signs of depression

There are many signs of depression. We all have our ups and downs, but if the signs persist, then its worth seeking further help. Read more >

Doctor, Doctor

There are national guidelines for doctors on how to treat depression and low mood. People with milder forms may benefit from watchful waiting and a talking treatment but may also be offered anti depressants. Read more >

Talk about it

Sharing your feelings with friends and family can really help to lighten the load. Sometimes they may even help you to find a solution. Read more >

Look after yourself

Paying attention to simple physical needs such as eating, sleeping and exercise can all help alleviate symptoms. ‘Regular exercise and just being outside in the open air can have a huge positive effect on how you feel. Read more >