Health & Wellness

Go inside his head: Men's take on depression, loneliness and more

The man in your life might seem as strong and steady as ever, but what’s really going on inside his head?

We’re getting some new glimpses into what men are thinking as part of our series “No-Shave TODAY,” a month-long effort to raise awareness of men’s health issues.

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Why are men embarrassed to talk about talk about mental health issues?

Play Video - 4:44

Why are men embarrassed to talk about talk about mental health issues?

Play Video - 4:44

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The specter of depression

One somber finding is that almost half of men, 49 percent, feel more depressed than they admit to the people in their life, according to the TODAY-commissioned report "State of Men 2016," a Berland Strategy online survey of 1,001 adult males.

Almost half, 45 percent, believe mental health issues can be solved on their own.

“Men don’t tend to talk about their feelings, especially mental health issues. There’s a lot of stigma around those that we’re trying to break down, but that stigma still exists,” Dr. Michael Crupain, medical unit chief of staff for The Dr. Oz Show, told TODAY.

“Men think they can solve their problems and they don’t need anybody else. But we know that in a lot of cases, you do need help with mental health issues… (it) can make a big difference.”

Three out of five men believe depression symptoms are the same for men and women, but that’s not always the case.

Instead of feeling overtly sad and hopeless, men who are depressed may feel tired, irritable and angry, the National Institute of Mental Health notes. They may have trouble sleeping and lose interest in their work, family, or hobbies.

RELATED: What to say (and not say) to someone who is depressed

Many would keep suicidal thoughts to themselves

Men also die by suicide three times more often than women, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Thoughts of suicide are extremely serious, but 45 percent of men revealed they likely would not discuss them with a friend. More than half, 53 percent, said they would not be very likely to recognize if one of their male friends was at risk for suicide.

“That’s really a big deal,” Crupain said. “We need to be able to look out for each other and help each other… we need to be comfortable talking about these things.”

Kevin Hines — who tried to commit suicide in 2000 when he was 19 and now works with the charity Movember to bring awareness to the issue — believes men hold it all in because they fear being judged.

"Men are so focused on the ideal of masculinity and how they have to appear to be, we forget to cry. We forget to be emotional, to show vulnerability, to show pain," Hines said.

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Day-to-day emotions: Happier, less lonely than women

Almost half of men, 45 percent, revealed they often feel stressed out.

But they also ranked their happiness and life satisfaction much higher than women. About 70 percent said they don’t often feel lonely or isolated, a stark difference from their wives and girlfriends. Almost two-thirds of women said they feel lonely or isolated, Crupain noted.

One reason may be that when it comes to connecting with people, men were more likely to do it in person, rather than on social media.

Women “seem to think (social media) is helping them be more connected, but they’re engaging in what we call drive-by friendships,” Crupain said. “So they’re reading about their friends on social media more than they’re talking to their friends. Men were the opposite.”

Remember: Movember is the month when millions of men around the world grow their facial hair to raise money for men’s health charities. For more information and to donate, go to Movember USA.

Follow A. Pawlowski on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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