Depression in Men: Understanding the Unique Symptoms & Challenges of Depression
It’s men’s job to be strong; thus, they’re regularly meant to be unaffected by emotional situations. Actually, no. But this common presumption may be to blame for the difficulty identifying depression in men.
The majority of males tend to view themselves as robust and emotionally stable. They like to hide or dismiss their feelings of depression, even when they exist. These emotions eventually become so overwhelming that they interfere with your regular activities and negatively impact your physical and mental health. It may indicate chronic or clinical depression if they experience sadness, hopelessness, and despair for longer than a few weeks.
Understanding the Causes of Depression in Men
Depression in men can have many different causes. Males are more potential than females to experience depressive symptoms due to a mix of psychological, biological, and social variables, poor lifestyle decisions, and coping methods.
Here is a detailed analysis of each factor that contributes to male depression:
• Family history – Men who have a history of depression or a related mental health disease in their families are more likely to develop the illness at some point in their lives.
• A chemical imbalance in the brain’s neurotransmitters – Depressive symptoms in men may result from an imbalance in the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin.
• A traumatic event – For example, an accident
• Lack of family and friend support
• Worried about job or unemployment
• Breakup with loved one
• A failed marriage or relationship
• Alcohol abuse
• Smoking cessation – Studies demonstrate that a brief but significant cause of depression in men is nicotine withdrawal.
In addition, using specific pharmaceuticals or prescriptions and having underlying chronic medical illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, or others, may also cause signs of depression in men.
How to Find the Symptoms of Depression in Men?
Different people react differently to depression’s symptoms. The symptoms of depression in men can differ from those in women. Men are likelier to feel irritable and exhausted, lose interest in work, hobbies, or family, and have difficulty falling asleep. Furthermore, because depression typically develops gradually and goes unnoticed, its symptoms are frequently challenging to identify. In the case of male depression, this is more accurate.
Men generally strive to cover up their emotions and hide their sentiments, so they fail to recognize the early indicators of depression. However, it is best to watch out for the following signs of male depression:
• A constant sense of despair, sorrow, or loneliness
• Inability to focus makes sense, remember details, or even make decisions
• Loss of interest in activities and responsibilities
• Abuse of drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication for depression,
• Putting one’s life in danger through unsafe sex or reckless driving
• Behavioral changes – becoming violent, controlling, or abusive
• Loss of interest in activities that previously looked fun but are now boring
• Significant appetite variations, weight gain, or loss
• Insomnia or chronic excessive sleepiness is a sleep disorder
• Physical agitation and lethargy
• Excessive weariness and exhaustion
• A severe sense of guilt
• Feeling less worthy of oneself
Most commonly, men use drugs, alcohol, or other dangerous habits to deal with the above symptoms because they find it challenging to deal with the stigma associated with depression. The condition must be identified and treated as soon as possible because, if left untreated, depression can result in several consequences, the most serious of which is suicide.
What are the Consequences of Untreated Depression in Men?
Suicide risk is higher in men who are depressed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention1 (CDC) has shown that men are 3–4 times more likely than women to commit suicide.
Unbelievably, 75–80% of people who commit suicide are men. In contrast to the fact that more women attempt suicide, more men succeed. This might be the case because men frequently use more extreme and violent measures to end their life. But why is it so difficult for men to accept depression? Recognizing and treating depression in males requires a unique understanding of how men are raised in society. The cultural expectations that males should be successful, strong, and in control of their emotions can be linked to male depression.
These expectations frequently cover up depressive symptoms. The preferred behavioral feature of a “tough guy” is anger and hostility, which men are expected to express.
When to Visit the Doctor
We always refer to the importance of seeking professional help when experiencing symptoms of depression in men. If a man experiences persistent sadness, hopelessness, or loss of interest in activities he used to enjoy, he should consider making an appointment with his healthcare provider. Additionally, if he experiences other physical symptoms, such as changes in appetite or sleep patterns, unexplained aches, pains, or difficulty concentrating, he should seek professional help. It’s crucial to remember that depression is a medical condition that requires professional treatment, and delaying seeking help can lead to more severe complications.
How is Depression in Men Treated?
There are various treatments to treat depression. Each person may respond to the treatment differently. However, your healthcare provider can suggest a treatment plan which suits your needs based on your condition and symptoms. To address your mood swings and depressive symptoms, your doctor may recommend medications, psychotherapy, or a combination of both.
Talk therapy, often known as psychotherapy, is a psychological process that involves speaking with a mental health expert or therapist about emotions to identify the root and signs of depression in men.
The problem is typically efficiently treated using the following methods:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This goal-oriented and short-term procedure takes a practical, hands-on problem-solving approach. It aims to alter the thinking and behavioral pattern that might be at the root of the problem and thus change how people feel.
This brief psychotherapy with an attachment focus seeks to alleviate depression by enhancing interpersonal connections. It depends on the notion that interpersonal interactions are what psychological issues are ultimately about.
This technique helps people interact with the therapist and discover solutions or learn how to manage the worst effects of depression in men. To conclude, psychotherapy helps men with depression –
• Overcome a crisis
• Recognize and get rid of erroneous ideas
• Discover your experiences and connections to make good connections.
• Find solutions to problems
• Identify the causes of depression
• Set achievable, realistic objectives
• Develop methods of coping with handling stress
Various types of medication can be used to treat depression in men. Antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), are commonly prescribed medications for depression. However, it’s necessary to note that medication is not always the first treatment for depression in men and should be used with therapy and lifestyle changes. Additionally, men must work closely with their healthcare provider to find the proper medication and dosage and monitor potential side effects.
Depending on the individual, these drugs may have different effects. Working closely with your medical professional is crucial for reporting any adverse effects. Make sure to take your medications exactly as instructed, and never skip or stop taking them without your doctor’s permission. Immediately stopping treatment may aggravate the illness and cause withdrawal symptoms.
In addition, making healthy lifestyle adjustments, including improving dietary habits, engaging in regular exercise, and according to a set sleep schedule, might benefit men with moderate depressive symptoms.
In conclusion, depression in men is a complex and misunderstood condition that can have severe consequences if left untreated. It’s crucial for men to understand the unique symptoms and challenges of depression and to seek professional help if needed. By being aware of the risk factors and seeking appropriate treatment, men can effectively manage their depression and improve their overall quality of life. Remember, depression in men is not a sign of imperfection, and pursuing help is a sign of strength. Moreover, you can discover more tips and tricks to recover from your depression and other mental health issues at Healthik.