Anne Cécile Berthier
Country Director, Movember UK and Europe
Spotting when someone you love is struggling can be difficult. Approximately one in three women and one in five men have an episode of major depression by the age of 65.1
Depression can look different in men, so it’s important to be able to spot the hidden clues. Sadness, apathy and withdrawal are often thought of as typical symptoms of poor mental health. While men can experience any of these, one reason depression is often missed is because the symptoms can look different. Here are five signs to look out for:
Anger and irritability
Men are more likely to experience anger and irritability as a result of poor mental health, as opposed to sadness and withdrawal.
Loss of appetite
Poor mental health can affect our appetite and change our relationship with food. It can cause us to eat more than usual or lead to a loss of appetite.
Fatigue is another sign of poor mental health that is often missed. It can make everyday tasks such as going to work, taking care of children or preparing meals feel insurmountable. They may even start speaking or moving more slowly than usual.
Difficulty in making decisions that once would have come easily might be a sign someone is feeling low.
Loss of interest in favourite activities
It’s normal to feel sad and lack motivation sometimes, but if a loved one is opting out of activities they used to enjoy, it can be a sign something is wrong.
How to help
- Arrange a time to chat in person. If someone finds it difficult to talk, remember that some find it easier to open up during a walk or bike ride than if they’re sitting opposite you.
- Offer empathy and support, not solutions. You don’t need to have the answers. Listen and ask open-ended questions. Movember produces free interactive resources at Movember Conversations on how to support a friend who might be struggling. This year, Movember is launching SpeakEasy workshops for UK and EU workplace and community groups on how to support the men in their lives.
- Reduce the stigma. Some men find it difficult to talk about their mental health or get the help they need. Remove the stigma by sharing your own experiences.
- Encourage men to seek help. Remind them that seeking help is a valid and necessary investment in their wellbeing.
- Follow up. Check on them regularly, even if they seem to be doing better.