Do Men Express More Anger When Struggling With Depression?

A dog owner hanging out with his dog.

Do Men Express More Anger When Struggling With Depression?

Depression can be very difficult to live with. This can be especially so for men who are struggling with depression and anger. It can be hard to cope with negative social stigma today. Learning to recognize the signs of depression can help men overcome the obstacles associated with their condition. Taking time to explore different therapies to better cope with depression can significantly improve an individual’s quality of life. 

What Is Depression?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH), depression can also be referred to as major depressive disorder or major depression. This mental health condition is a prevalent mood disorder today. It can affect individuals of all ages, genders, or ethnicities. Depression can cause various symptoms that may interfere with an individual’s ability to think, feel, or tackle daily activities. For example, an individual’s sleeping and eating habits may be negatively affected. Living with untreated depression may cause one’s work performance to significantly decline as well. 

The Link Between Struggling With Depression and Anger

Based on a study by Frontiers in Psychology, males are more inclined than females to have reported higher rates of impulsivity, depressive anger, and substance use than women. Although this may be true, women are more likely to present depressive symptoms such as experiencing crying spells and intense moments of sadness. Moreover, depression and anger are commonly linked.

Long-Standing Social Norms Around Men Struggling With Depression and Anger

According to the aforementioned Frontiers in Psychology journal, studies have found women are more commonly diagnosed with depression than men. Although this may be true, men are also less likely to recognize or come forth about their problems due to negative social norms. Therefore, men are at an increased risk of experiencing worsened symptoms due to prolonged untreated depression.

Strict social norms have increased the likelihood of males masking their depression symptoms by suppressing them. For instance, men are more likely to vent in anger and self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. Such behaviors have proven to increase the risk for worsened mental health disorders and decrease the likelihood of presenting hopelessness. As stated previously, traditional masculinity is also related to one being less likely to surrender to help for their psychological needs. Thus, increasing suicide risk. Masculine norms and expectations that play a role here may consist of: 

  • Dominance
  • Aggression
  • Evasion of femininity
  • Stoicism 


How Recognizing the Signs Can Help Men Struggling With Depression and Anger

Unwanted triggers and intense substance cravings can worsen an individual’s condition and increase bouts of anger. Learning to recognize the signs of depression can help individuals understand when to take action. By doing so, one may effectively cope with their condition and live a more positive lifestyle. Recognizing the signs may also help one communicate their mental health concerns to a specialist for proper care. Depressive symptoms may include: 

  • Increased pessimistic feelings
  • Frustration and restlessness
  • Feelings of intense guilt and worthlessness
  • Loss of interest and pleasure in activities
  • Decreased energy levels
  • Isolating oneself from loved ones
  • Increased engagement in high-risk activities
  • Problems with sexual performance


Taking the Next Steps to Overcome Depression

Choosing to move forward with addiction and mental health treatment can greatly improve an individual’s quality of life. Taking time to research a facility that manages a dual diagnosis can help one learn the strategies needed to effectively cope with depression and anger without depending on drugs and alcohol for relief.

Discussing mental health concerns with a specialist and developing a unique individualized treatment plan may improve one’s odds of a safe recovery. Depending on the facility chosen, a specialist may target their services to the individual’s needs for a more successful outcome. Various therapies that are highly effective in treating depression and anger might include: 

  • Trauma-informed care
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Mindfulness-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (MBCBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT SKILLS) 
  • Motivational interviewing (MI)


Complementary Treatments to Help Individuals Struggling With Their Mental Health

Exploring different treatment options and using them in combination with other forms of treatment can be a complementary approach to care. Knowing depression, anger, and addiction can significantly impair an individual’s relationships, seeking group therapy can improve communication and family dynamics. For example, family programs and group therapy may bring in new opportunities and expand one’s support system outside of family and friends. 

Entertaining medication-assisted treatment (MAT) may also be beneficial for individuals facing problems with depression and anger. MAT can be a complementary choice with therapy to promote mental stability. Choosing to move forward with additional care for a dual diagnosis may enhance an individual’s experience. Depending on the facility chosen, animal-assisted therapy may help increase confidence in men who lack the strength needed to come forth about their feelings related to their depression. Alternative forms of care one may want to explore might include: 

  • Outpatient addiction treatment
  • Partial hospitalization programs
  • Aftercare services