Men and depression

Mens health

What is depression?

Everyone feels sad or irritable sometimes, or has trouble sleeping occasionally. But these feelings and troubles usually pass after a couple of days. When a man has depression, he has trouble with daily life and loses interest in anything for weeks at a time. Both men and women get depression. But men can experience it differently than women. Men may be more likely to feel very tired and irritable, and lose interest in their work, family, or hobbies. They may be more likely to have difficulty sleeping than women who have depression. And although women with depression are more likely to attempt suicide, men are more likely to die by suicide. Many men do not recognize, acknowledge, or seek help for their depression. They may be reluctant to talk about how they are feeling. But depression is a real and treatable illness. It can affect any man at any age. With the right treatment, most men with depression can get better and gain back their interest in work, family, and hobbies.

What are the different forms of depression?

The most common types of depression are: Major depression. This is severe symptoms that interfere with a man’s ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy most aspects of life. An episode of major depression may occur only once in a person’s lifetime. But more often, a person can have several episodes. Dysthymic disorder, or dysthymia, is depressive symptoms that last a long time, normally for 2 years or longer, but are less severe than those of major depression. Minor depression is similar to major depression and dysthymia, but symptoms are less severe and may not last as long.

What are the signs and symptoms of depression in men?

Different people have different symptoms. Some symptoms of depression include: feeling sad or empty, feeling hopeless, irritable, anxious, or angry, having a loss of interest in work, family, or once-pleasurable activities, including sex, and feeling very tired. But also not being able to concentrate or remember details, or not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much. As well as overeating, or not wanting to eat at all. Plus suicidal thoughts, and suicide attempts. Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems Inability to meet the responsibilities of work, caring for family, or other important activities, are also normally common symptoms of depression.

What causes depression in men?

Several factors ranging from genes where there is a history of depression, to brain chemistry and hormones which cause depression. But also stress, such as losing someone you love, a break up, moving, losing you job are all triggers of depression. However in most of the time, it is likely a combination of different factors.

How is depression treated?

The first step to getting help, from your doctor that will refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist or to both based on the type of depression you might had. Your psychiatrist will prescribe anti-depression medication, and will monitor the effects and doses over a time. The dose and type of drug might chance until your chemical balance is on the right level. These medications will have some side effects but they will fade over a few months. Other side effects like headaches, nausea, feeling sick to your stomach, sleeping problems, and sexual problems might linger for longer. More so it might be best to use medication to get you to a level where the counselling from the psychologist to be effective. During the therapy you will be taught new ways of thinking and behaving, and changing habits that may be contributing to the depression. Therapy can also help men understand and work through difficult situations or relationships that may be causing their depression or making it worse.

The biggest problem is that men are brought up with the idea that they should not be emotional and sensitive. This will lead to isolation which is not helpful for someone with depression. The real man will approach someone for help, and learn new and challenging ways to overcome his depression. Just remember many other men are also dealing with similar problems, and there are hope and friends and family there for you. The sooner you seek help, the sooner you will feel better.