Depression is a mental health problem that affects over 15 million American adults or approximately 7{6713ba23e05232a925818888182dfaeb6662fdf7c105b8bc21967aa35cf30fda} of the entire U.S. population according to the records of the National Institute of Mental Health. Many individuals suffer from depression, regardless of gender, socioeconomic background, and race but the treatment of depression is only sought by 30{6713ba23e05232a925818888182dfaeb6662fdf7c105b8bc21967aa35cf30fda} of those who are suffering from this mental health concern.

One of the possible reasons for this low percentage could be attributed to the many myths surrounding depression. The most common myths about men and depression are discussed below:

Myth 1:  It is impossible for “real” men to suffer from depression.

Fact: Unless “real men” means they are not real humans but another lifeform, then it can be true. However, since men and women are both members of the human species, neither one of the genders are exempted from this mental health issue. It is important to note that depression is not selective, they can affect everybody regardless of strength, vitality, endurance, muscle mass, and other descriptions most commonly associated with being a “real” man.

Myth 2:  Depressed individuals are emotionally weak.

Fact:  Everybody can experience depression even those who are labeled as emotionally “strong”.  People who are expected to be “strong” can fall prey to depression especially if they have no outlet to blow some steam caused by unrealistic expectations of the people around them.

Myth 3:  Only women experience depression.

Fact: Men suffer from depression too and there are solid numbers that support this fact. In one study published in JAMA Psychiatry in 2013 revealed that 30.6{6713ba23e05232a925818888182dfaeb6662fdf7c105b8bc21967aa35cf30fda} of men suffered from a period of depression in their lifetime. In a record by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of suicide among American men is 4 times higher than women. Moreover, in a survey conducted by the National Health Interview Survey (from 2010-2013), it was revealed that 9{6713ba23e05232a925818888182dfaeb6662fdf7c105b8bc21967aa35cf30fda} of men experience daily feelings of depression. Given all these factual numbers, it is clear that men suffer from depression as well.

Myth 4: Men try to desperately hide their feelings of depression.

Fact:  Not all men choose to hide their depression, there are men who try to seek professional help to address this issue. While it is not surprising that men usually delay seeking treatment for depression, they still try to find some form of help to address this mental health problem. Call records of popular helplines show that half of the calls they received were from men. The results of the 2010-2013 National Health Interview Survey also reveal that more than 30{6713ba23e05232a925818888182dfaeb6662fdf7c105b8bc21967aa35cf30fda} of depressed men took anti-depressant medication and 25{6713ba23e05232a925818888182dfaeb6662fdf7c105b8bc21967aa35cf30fda} of depressed men even went to a mental health professional to seek professional help.

Myth 5: There is no treatment for depression.

Fact:  Depression is a mental health disorder that can be addressed by several treatment approaches. While there is no single fool-proof treatment for depression, a trained therapist can create a counseling plan that will directly address the specific needs and requirements of a man suffering from depression. Treatment options vary among patients because of each one’s intrinsic differences.

Myth 6: Depression is a sign of getting crazy.

Fact:  Depression does not automatically mean that the person is “crazy”; if being so means you need to be strapped in a straightjacket and locked up in a mental ward. Although depression is considered a mental health issue, it does not mean that the person is already hopeless and losing his sanity. Experiencing depression simply means that the person needs to address certain psychological and emotional issues that negatively impact his mood and behavior.

If you are a man who is experiencing symptoms of depression but is hesitant to seek treatment because of any of the myths discussed above, it is high time that you focus on the facts. Seek professional help immediately before it is too late.