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“HeadsUpGuys has given me a better understanding that though I sometimes feel alone, I am not, and that others have similar problems.” - Male, 55, Canada

Depression weighs heavily on many men. It can pull your thoughts into dark places, leaving you questioning your purpose, role, and abilities.

Here are some common thoughts men with depression have, and what you can do about them:

1. I must be weak to have become depressed.

No, you’re not weak. Depression is a serious illness that should not be underestimated; it’s one of the leading causes of disability worldwide.[1] Depression affects athletes, veterans, teachers, doctors, musicians, CEOs, tradesmen – depression doesn’t care who you are. It can affect anyone and has nothing to do with personal strength or weakness.

  • Read our recovery stories and see what real strength in the face of depression looks like. We now have over 100 stories from men who have battled depression.

2. I should be able to do more.

Fighting depression is hard. When you’re depressed you probably won’t be able to do as much as when you’re healthy – but that’s okay. Walking around the block can feel like running a marathon when you’re depressed. Give yourself some slack and appreciate for all the efforts you make.

  • Focus on what you are able to do, in spite of depression. Even completing small or partial tasks can take a lot of energy, and it takes practice and patience to appreciate this.

3. I don’t think depression is worth talking about.

Sometimes you need an outside perspective for a different take on what might be contributing to your depression. Talking about it can pull you away from your thoughts and lessen the strain you’re under.

4. I am a burden on others.

You aren’t the burden, the weight of depression is. Family, friends, doctors, and other mental health professionals can help you bear the weight. The people that care about and love you will want to help; hiding from them will only makes things worse.

  • Share the load. Reach out to build supports to help you through this tough time. When you’re feeling better you can repay the favours. Learn how to reach out to friends and family.

5. I either figure this out or I end my life.

This is all-or-nothing thinking taken to the extreme; “ending it all” is no solution. Depression and thinking about suicide are nothing to be ashamed of. Many guys have worked through thoughts like these and gotten back to better health.

  • If you recognize yourself thinking only in absolutes, use this as a warning beacon. Alert yourself to how distorted your thoughts are and recognize that you are no longer in a position to view your health objectively.

Next Steps: 

Our Rewiring Negative Thoughts course includes interactive exercises and examples that make it easier for us to apply these techniques in our everyday life.


  1. World Health Organization. (2020, January 30). Depression. World Health Organization.

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