What you should know about depression in men

By: Osler Health International
Posted on: 30 Jan 2023

Men often feel social pressure to appear strong and confident and the high-pressured life in Singapore can lead to mental health pressures. The cost of living crisis, job security, family concerns, career pressures can all help contribute to an increase likelihood of depression and mental health concerns. Thankfully, awareness of male depression is steadily growing and more people are having conversations about this important issue. If you are male or want to support male loved ones, understanding the signs of depression in men is essential for knowing how best to support them through these difficult times. Be better informed and look out for yourself and those around you going through mental health struggles.

Statistics of depression in men in Singapore

A recent study conducted by researchers from the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) has revealed that depression affects 4.3 per cent of men in Singapore throughout their lifetimes. While this statistic may not appear alarming at first glance, researchers hypothesised that many men were simply not speaking up about their depression or seeking out adequate help and support. This theory is backed up by a recent survey conducted by Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) Singapore where they uncovered the troubling fact that 53.2 per cent of all male respondents admitted to having “learned to deal” with  mental health struggles instead of seeking out help – a figure which rises to 73.3 percent among respondents aged 16-24. This highlights an urgent need for greater public awareness surrounding depression among men, as well as a duty of care to ensure they feel comfortable coming forward and accessing mental health services from doctors in Singapore when needed.

What is depression?

A mood disorder, depression results in suffering from lasting feelings of unhappiness, losing interest in the world around you and withdrawing into your own world. Also known as MDD or clinical depression, it negatively influences your thoughts, feelings and behaviour. Consequently, this can develop into a whole range of emotional and physical problems. This can create difficulty in participating in ordinary day-to-day activities, and cause those suffering from depression to question the point of living. Unlike normal emotions of ‘feeling down’, depression is a persistent condition that those experiencing it feel unable to dispel and may necessitate professional help from a mental health doctor in Singapore.

Symptoms or signs of depression in men

Men facing depression may have these symptoms for longer than two weeks:

  • Lasting feelings of unhappiness and despair
  • Losing interest in activities that used to be enjoyed 
  • Weight loss or weight gain; or decrease or increase in appetite
  • Finding it hard to sleep or excessive sleep
  • Feelings of agitation or restlessness
  • Feeling exhausted and unable to summon energy to do anything
  • Feeling worthless or excessive guilt
  • Finding it hard to concentrate or think 
  • Persistent thoughts of death or suicide

If you or a loved one experience a few of these symptoms over a sustained period, we advise you to see a doctor for depression as soon as possible.

Impact of depression 

Living with depression without treatment can have serious consequences, both in terms of ones mental and physical health. At its most extreme. those living with depression may contemplate suicide, more commonly seen in men than women.  A recent report found that there were 320 male suicide deaths as compared to 132 for women

Care for your mental health with Osler Health

Men‘s depression can be a difficult thing to navigate. At Osler Health we offer a whole suite of men‘s health services specifically designed to help support men with depression identify what they are going through and provide support.  We provide a safe space for men seeking mental health help, and all consultations are entirely confidential.  At Osler Health, our experienced Singapore based doctors understand depression and have helped many men over the years suffering from depression and other mental health concerns. Contact us or make an appointment online today to take the first steps in addressing your struggles with depression.

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