Many men are suffering in silence with their depression because doctors are only trained to look for the condition in women, says UK mental health charity Mind.
The group further claims that if more were done to diagnose male depression, particularly in middle-aged men, many lives could be saved.
Mind says that despite the perception that women are more likely to experience depression, men are just as likely to suffer from the condition, and, in fact, are more likely to commit suicide.
According to Mind CEO Paul Farmer, "Statistics tell us that women are more likely to have depression than men. In reality men are just as likely to experience depression, but are far less likely to seek help, be diagnosed or receive treatment."
Why do fewer men get the help they need? According to Farmer, it's because doctors are trained to look for signs of depression that are more common in women, such as turning on themselves. Depressed men, however, are more likely to become aggressive and angry, says Farmer. In addition, they are less likely to ask for help because of stereotypes such as "real men don't cry."
"We are encouraging GPs to look out for some of the more male symptoms of depression - such as anger or agression," said Farmer, "and calling for the increased provision of mental health services tailored for men." Farmer believes that these stepped up efforts can keep men from slipping through the cracks and save many lives.