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Depression in Men April 4, 2017

Posted by JP in Absolute Favorites, Discussion, Uncategorized.
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(none of the following is my work, just me passing on to you the information from experts regarding a widely unrecognized issue)

Depression in men has long been an ‘unrecognized’ problem, It seems likely men suffer from depression just as often as women, but they are less likely to ask for help.

Men tend to think of themselves differently than women and this can be quite unhelpful. Compared with women, they tend to be far more concerned with being competitive, powerful and successful. Most men don’t like to admit they feel fragile or vulnerable, and so are less likely to talk about their feelings with their friends, loved ones or their doctors. This may be the reason depressed men often don’t ask for help. Men tend to feel they should rely only on themselves and it is somehow weak to have to depend on someone else, even for a short time.

Men also tend to be less adept at recognizing symptoms of depression than women. A man is more likely to deny his feelings, hide them from himself and others, or try to mask them with other behaviors. And while men may experience classic symptoms such as depressed mood, loss of interest in work or hobbies, weight and sleep disturbances, fatigue, and concentration problems, they are more likely than women to experience “stealth” depression symptoms such as irritability, substance abuse, and agitation.

Instead of talking about how they feel, depressed men may try to make themselves feel better by using alcohol or drugs. This will usually make things worse in the long run. Their work will suffer and alcohol often leads to irresponsible, unpleasant or dangerous behavior. Men with depression also tend to give their work a higher priority than their home life, which produces conflicts with their wives or partners. All of these things have been shown to make depression more likely.

For married men, research has shown trouble in a marriage is the single most common problem connected with depression. Depressed men can’t cope with disagreements as well as women. Arguments actually make men feel very physically uncomfortable. So, they try to avoid arguments or difficult discussions. Depression in men often leads to the situation where a man’s partner will want to talk about a problem, but he will not and will do his best to avoid talking about it. The partner feels they are being ignored and tries to talk about it more, which makes the depressed man feel he is being nagged. So, he withdraws even more, which makes his partner feel even more that they are being ignored . . . and so on. This vicious circle in male depression can quite easily destroy a relationship.

Depression affects millions of men of all ages and backgrounds, as well as those who care about them—spouses, partners, friends, and family. More than just a dip in mood in response to life’s setbacks and disappointments, depression changes how you think, feel, and function in your daily life. It can interfere with your productivity at work or school and impact your relationships, sleep, diet, and overall enjoyment of life. Severe depression can be intense and unrelenting.

Depression in men can often be overlooked. Many men find it difficult to talk about their feelings so they tend to focus on the physical symptoms that often accompany depression. This can result in the underlying depression going untreated.

Men suffering from depression are four times more likely to commit suicide than women. It’s important for any man to seek help with depression before feelings of despair become feelings of suicide. Talk honestly with a friend, loved one, or doctor about what’s going on in your mind.

There is plenty men can do to overcome depression. The important thing is to recognize the symptoms.

The three most commonly overlooked signs of depression in men are:

  1. Physical pain. Sometimes depression in men shows up as physical symptoms—such as backache, frequent headaches, sleep problems, sexual dysfunction, or digestive disorders—that don’t respond to normal treatment.
  2. Anger. This could range from irritability, sensitivity to criticism, or a loss of your sense of humor to road rage, a short temper, or even violence. Some men become abusive or controlling.
  3. Reckless behavior. A man suffering from depression may exhibit escapist or risky behavior such as pursuing dangerous sports, driving recklessly, or engaging in unsafe sex. You might drink too much, abuse drugs, or gamble compulsively.

If you identify with several of the following, you may be suffering from depression.

  1. You feel hopeless and helpless
  2. You’ve lost interest in friends, activities, and things you used to enjoy
  3. You’re much more irritable, short-tempered, or aggressive than usual
  4. You’re consuming more alcohol, engaging in reckless behavior, or using TV, sports, and sex to self-medicate
  5. You feel restless and agitated
  6. Your sleep and appetite has changed
  7. You can’t concentrate or your productivity at work has declined
  8. You can’t control your negative thoughts

If any of this strikes a cord with you I urge you to speak to your doctor, or visit: Anxiety and Depression Association of America 

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