Hidden depression is something that affects the lives of many people across the country daily. It can be a hard topic to discuss, and this is especially true in men. Men who struggle with the condition often find it difficult to discuss, and they remain silent for prolonged periods. This can exacerbate the symptoms, making it extremely difficult for them to perform daily functions without feeling distressed. The societal thought process that men should be strong contributes to this silence, as they often feel like addressing feelings of overwhelming sadness is admitting weakness. 

Understanding Depression

Depression is a condition that a large majority of the population faces daily. It is a condition characterized by overwhelming feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and emptiness. It impacts emotions, thoughts, behaviors, and physical health. Symptoms of depression may include changes in weight and appetite, isolation, sleep disturbances, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. Life events, genetic factors, chemical imbalances in the brain, or any combination of these factors can play a role in the development of this condition.

How Depression Impacts Men

The expectations of society and gender norms play a huge role in undiagnosed depression in men. Men may be less likely to recognize or seek help for the condition due to the pressure they feel to remain strong and self-reliant. Underreporting symptoms and delayed treatment can contribute to men having difficulty maintaining daily life responsibilities, and the condition can manifest as irritability, anger, recklessness, or drug and alcohol abuse. Untreated depression in men can affect relationships, physical health, and performance at work, as well as lead to an increased risk of suicide. 

Hidden Depression in Men

Men often carry a burden to adhere to gender norms and societal expectations. This means they often feel the need to appear strong and as though they have everything under control. This can cause depression to manifest in ways other than the general sadness associated with the condition. 

Signs of Untreated Depression in Men

Undiagnosed depression in men can manifest through risky behaviors, angry outbursts, or irritability. It can also lead to isolation, feelings of loneliness, and a sense of being misunderstood. Without proper treatment, symptoms can worsen leading to impacts on relationships, work performance, and overall well-being. Other signs of undiagnosed depression in men can include:

Dual Diagnosis and Hidden Depression

Dual diagnosis is when mental health conditions and substance abuse issues coexist within an individual. It can occur as a result of drug and alcohol abuse or lead to substance abuse. No matter the circumstances, treating depression and substance abuse is crucial to overcoming a dual diagnosis. 

Depression Leading to Addiction

Untreated depression can have severe impacts on an individual’s lifestyle. Often, these individuals turn to the use of drugs and alcohol as a means of coping with the symptoms. While it may feel as though they are being alleviated, continued substance abuse can result in dependence or addiction. It is essential to treat both the substance abuse and addiction aspect, as well as the hidden depression to achieve remission and maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

Depression Risk Factors

Many different factors can play a role in someone’s susceptibility to developing depression. These can be environmental, genetic, biological, or psychological. Genetic factors include a family history of the condition or other mood disorders. This can increase the risk of an individual developing symptoms of depression as a predisposition to mood regulation issues can occur.

Biological factors can include chemical imbalances in the brain, particularly lacking norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. Stressful life events and trauma can play environmental roles in developing depression, and psychologically, co-occurring conditions like substance abuse can affect someone’s development of the condition.


Treating depression can help prevent tragic outcomes. It can help to prevent or end drug and alcohol abuse, as well as alleviate the symptoms and allow the individual to regain control of their life. Therapy plays a major role in helping these individuals learn and implement healthy coping skills into their lives so they can prevent self-destructive behaviors. Learning how to cope with the symptoms of depression is a crucial component of healing and living a healthy life.

Untreated depression can lead to worsening symptoms, drug and alcohol addiction, deterioration of family relationships and friendships, as well as problems with job performance. Seeking the proper care to manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life can help prevent major impacts and improve areas of life that have been impacted by the condition. 

Treating Hidden Depression

Untreated depression can lead to an array of impacts on an individual’s life. Not treating the condition can result in strain on family and in the workplace, as well as lead to suicidal thoughts and behaviors. If you or a loved one are struggling with depression, we can help. At Spirit Mountain Recovery we strive to provide a safe and healing environment in which you can begin a journey of healing and recovery.

Call us now and begin your journey.

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