Man smiling in a field with the sun on his face | Solutions for Treating and Overcoming the Stigma of Depression in Men | Mindful Health Solutions

Approximately 6 million American men have depression each year, but fewer than half recognize, acknowledge, or seek treatment. Unfortunately, many men feel like they need to be “strong and silent” about their mental illness or society will look down on them, leading them to not find the correct treatment.

According to the Movember Foundation, society as a whole does not stigmatize men with depression; rather, men tend to think of themselves as burdensome or disappointing. From childhood, men are taught to be in control of their feelings and not be “emotional.” This lesson can be detrimental to men if they are experiencing symptoms of depression.

Click here to learn more about identifying depression in men and fighting the stigma.

Men’s Mental Health and Breaking the Stigma

To break the stigma surrounding men’s mental health, it is essential to foster open conversations about depression and encourage men to seek help without feeling ashamed. Men should know that acknowledging their mental health struggles is a sign of strength, not weakness. Society must continue to challenge traditional views of masculinity and promote a more inclusive and supportive environment for men dealing with depression.

Causes of Depression in Men

Anyone can get depression. While depression in men is caused by several contributing factors, most of the time it’s a combination of these components:

  • Genes – Men with a family history of depression may be more likely to develop it themselves.
  • Brain chemistry and hormones – The brains of people with depression look different on scans than those of people without the illness. Also, the hormones that control emotions and mood can affect brain chemistry.
  • Stress – Loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, or any stressful situation may trigger depression in some men.

Do you think you have depression? Take the Depression Screen right now.

Treatments for Depression in Men and Seeking Help

Even though men and women both get depression, they experience it differently. However, the treatments are the same. There are many effective treatments for men, and often a combination of treatments is the best choice. According to WebMD, more than 80 percent of men respond to treatment for depression.

Antidepressant Medication

Antidepressant medications can be effective in relieving symptoms of depression but can have many side effects such as headaches, nausea, restlessness, and weight gain. However, they work to increase the levels of specific chemicals in the brain and can reduce the symptoms of depression. Be sure to take any medication exactly as prescribed for it to be effective.

TMS Therapy

Unfortunately, medication doesn’t work for everyone. Fortunately, there is a revolutionary treatment for people who suffer from depression – Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) therapy. Of the patients who have undergone the therapy, 3 in 5 improve significantly, and approximately 1 in 2 become completely free of depression symptoms.

The FDA-approved TMS therapy is a drug-free, non-invasive treatment done in a physician’s office and lasts about 45 minutes. By using an MRI-strength magnetic field to stimulate the front part of the brain, the core symptoms of major depression can be painlessly alleviated with no side effects. Some people notice temporary improvement as early as the first or second week as existing neural circuits are stimulated. Repeated treatment over several weeks gradually encourages new circuits to form, making depression relief self-sustaining for many patients.

Spravato (Esketamine) Therapy

Spravato is a nasal spray approved by the FDA for treatment-resistant depression. It targets glutamate, a neurotransmitter in the brain, and is used with an oral antidepressant. Patients usually receive Spravato under the supervision of a healthcare provider in a certified treatment center. This therapy can provide rapid relief from depressive symptoms for those who have not responded to other treatments.

Ketamine Infusion Therapy

Ketamine, traditionally used as an anesthetic, has shown promising results in treating severe depression. Administered intravenously, ketamine infusions can rapidly reduce symptoms of depression in patients who have not found relief from other treatments. This therapy is typically provided in a controlled medical setting and has been effective for many individuals.


Psychotherapy provides emotional support and problem-solving solutions critical to feeling better and more confident. Different types of psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or interpersonal therapy (IPT), can help men understand and manage their depression.

Traditional vs. Modern Masculinity

Traditional masculinity often emphasizes stoicism, self-reliance, and the suppression of emotions. These traits can discourage men from seeking help and acknowledging their mental health struggles. Modern masculinity, however, encourages emotional expression, vulnerability, and seeking support when needed. Embracing this modern perspective can significantly reduce the stigma associated with men’s mental health and promote better mental well-being.

Additional Tips for Managing Depression in Men

  • Get Plenty of Rest: Try to rest as much as possible. Lack of sleep can enhance feelings of depression.
  • Eat Right: Good nutrition is important for you to keep up your energy. Keep healthy foods readily available at work and home, and make good choices. Also, remember to drink plenty of water.
  • Exercise: Try to get a little exercise every day.
  • Avoid Alcohol and Drug Use: Alcohol and drugs can worsen depression and lessen the effect of any medications.

It takes a lot of effort and control to practice healthy coping skills and live a healthy lifestyle, rather than hiding your depression. It might be helpful to seek out support from friends and family to help support you through this process.

When you are living with depression, it can feel like everything is overwhelming and distressing. Don’t feel bad and remember that you are not alone. With the right diagnosis and treatment, you will be on your way to feeling better soon. If you feel like you are experiencing depression, contact us and get the help you need today.

By breaking the stigma surrounding men’s mental health and encouraging open conversations, we can create a more supportive environment for men dealing with depression. Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength, and with the right support, you can overcome the challenges of depression.

Are you ready to take the first step in your mental health treatment? We are here to help. Call us at (844) 867-8444 today to schedule a personalized consultation.

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