Despite what a lot of people think, depression is not just a normal part of growing up and getting older. A lot of people think that, once you enter adulthood and start organizing your life so as to meet all the daily obligations on time, and once you start worrying about paying the bills and everything else that comes with adult life, you are bound to get depressed. This, however, is a clear understatement of what depression is, and it is when people talk about it like this that other people stop taking the condition seriously, not quite understanding what it entails. Go here to get a better idea about why this isn’t a normal part of growing older.
Not only does the above mean that a lot of people won’t take the condition seriously, but it also means that quite a lot of individuals will go undiagnosed, not being sure whether they should turn for help with what they have. Choosing to fight things alone, instead of turning for help, is one of the main reasons why depression often takes such a big toll and why the fighting winds up being unsuccessful. People need other people, and especially so when trying to overcome such a big issue.
Men are even more prone to keeping things to themselves when word goes of any kinds of feelings, either negative or positive. The world is teaching men that they have to be strong and never show any weakness, or else they will be less respected in their communities and the world in general. This type of a belief, which is definitely rooted in most men nowadays, regardless of where they are located, leads to a lot of personal and interpersonal issues, starting with not being able to form a meaningful relationship, given that relationships call for partners showing weakness in front of one another.
Another problem that this causes has to do with the mental health of the men who have been taught to stay silent and never complain if they don’t feel well. Such a lifestyle is bound to lead to a lot of suppressed anger, if nothing else, as well as to certain mental health conditions that can be rather serious, including depression and anxiety. The problem is, the men are taught not to share feelings, meaning they won’t share these negative ones, lest they not be stigmatized, and keeping everything inside just leads to bigger and bigger problems, and even suicide, when a person decides that they can’t cope anymore and that they don’t expect things to get any better.
Read more on depression here: https://www.who.int/health-topics/depression
It is time to stop stigmatizing people for sharing their feelings, and especially men. It is time to understand the power of those feelings over them, and to realize once and for all the serious consequences that untreated depression can have. Only after we create a platform that invites everyone to speak freely about their mental health struggles and issues will the world become more receptive to the struggles of others, and more willing to help. Things have been changing here in recent years, as we’re seeing more and more talk of depression in men, thus encouraging them to speak up.
If you are ready to play your part in making the world and people in it more receptive and more understanding of the struggles of others, this is what you can do. Get a better understanding of what causes depression in men, learn what the symptoms are, so that you can recognize it in yourself or in someone else. And, of course, learn what kind of a treatment process a depressed person needs to go through, so that you know which steps to take if you find yourself, or someone you love, struggling with this condition.
Causes of depression
We will begin the learning process with talking about the causes of depression in men. Men are diagnosed with this condition at half the rate as women, but they die by suicide three to four times more frequently, which only further underlines the importance of understanding their depression better and talking about it instead of keeping on stigmatizing people. Learning about the causes can also help identify people that could be in danger of getting depressed, as well as possibly even take some preventative measures on time.
The causes are, however, highly individualistic. Meaning that depression and anxiety in men can appear for various different reasons, depending on the specific circumstances of the person that is suffering from those conditions. There are, however, some factors that could make you more prone to it.
Having a close family member with depression increases your chances of developing it yourself, and while a lot of people attribute this to genes, it is also related, probably even more so, to the upbringing process. We’re not going into the nature vs. nurture battle, though. That’s because we understand that both factors play a role in every condition, including this one.
Furthermore, people who suffer from certain medical conditions are also bound to experience depressive symptoms at one point or another. Hypothyroidism, for instance, is a somatic condition that can cause issues such as anxiety and depression. Addiction to certain substances, such as alcohol or various drugs, can be the cause of this disorder as well. Your personality also plays a crucial role here, because we are all different and we cope with things differently.
One thing that the pandemic has made clear is that loneliness is a huge cause of depression. Isolating yourself from other people can be both a cause and a symptom, leaving you in a vicious circle. In the end, it is important to emphasize that we can’t always discover the causes of this disorder, so don’t cling to them and don’t ever assume a person can’t be depressed if they seemingly have everything going well for them in their lives. It is a sneaky disorder that can affect everyone, at any point.
Symptoms of depression in men
Depression changes not only the way we think and feel, but also the way we behave. Recognising the symptoms (more info) is the crucial first step towards getting help. In terms of feelings, sadness is the predominant one, but it is not always visible to the people around the person that’s suffering. Disappointment, the feeling of hopelessness and a general lack of meaning are also clear signs of this disorder. Anger is also a predominant sign in men, as the constant pressure to bottle up their feelings and bury them is bound to lead to a lot of anger and frustration.
Recurring negative thoughts that have to deal with one’s self-esteem can be signs of this specific condition as well. People can feel that they are not valuable enough and that everyone would be better off without them. Couple that with the lack of enjoyment in life, and you get a person at huge risk of suicide.
Changing your usual habits and not enjoying the things you once used to enjoy is a clear sign that you need help. Refusing to socialize, not being able to concentrate on the tasks at hand, escaping into work or sports activities or escaping into anything else for that matter, should also be causes for concern. Of course, everyone experiences such feelings and exhibits such behaviors at times, but the problem begins when they last for a very long time.
Men are far more likely to talk about the physical symptoms of this disorder, once again, thanks to the world teaching them to keep their feelings hidden. Those physical symptoms include a constant feeling of tiredness, sleeping difficulties, changes in appetite, loss of sexual desire, headaches, muscle pains and similar. Understanding where such symptoms may be coming from and encouraging yourself, or someone else, to seek for help, is highly important, as it can basically make the difference between life or death.
How to treat it
While there are a lot of tips you can find about how to fight this disorder without professionals help, such as those you can read at https://www.verywellmind.com/beat-depression-without-prescription-drugs-1065079, here’s what I have to say about it. Depression is an extremely serious disorder and involving experts into the treatment process is definitely a must. If you’re not that keen on taking medication, you may not have to, but you should understand the value that the medication can have during your treatment of process. While it is not a long-term solution, it can help you come to the long-term solution with the help of a professional, that is, a psychotherapist.
So, a good psychotherapist plays the main role in the actual treatment process. These are the professionals that you should turn to when you are overwhelmed with those negative feelings and when you decide to get help. While there are different types of psychotherapy, the approach of these professionals usually involves talking about the problems until the causes are discovered and until you have basically reorganized your thoughts in a way that will make you look forward to life. If they recommend seeing a psychiatrist at the same time and taking medication, that’s because the medication will help the two of you work better towards the common goal – fighting and getting rid of depression.
Tim Williamson, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.