The Y Chromosome isn't immune
Depression is a serious, yet treatable mental health disorder that can affect any man, no matter how keen his sense of direction or burly his mustache. While depression is often associated with sadness and hopelessness, it often manifests itself in fits of rage, unnecessary risk taking and alcohol or drug abuse in men.
What to Look Out for
- Persistent pain
- Loss of energy
- Loss of sex drive
- Changes in appetite
- Change in sleep patterns
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Feeling guilty
- Feeling angry or violent
- Losing interest in hobbies
- Feeling sad or nervous
- Feeling alone
- Taking unnecessary risks
- Thinking about death or suicide
Depression: Men vs. Women
Unlike women, most depressed men don't exhibit the sad, self-loathing behavior we've come to associate with the disease. In fact, guys and gals deal with depression in vastly different ways.
Depressed men tend to:
Feel angry, irritated and ego-inflated
Feel suspicious and guarded
Feel restless and agitated
Need to feel in control
Find it "weak" to admit despair
Use alcohol, TV and sports to self-medicate
Depressed women tend to:
Feel sad, apathetic and worthless
Feel anxious and scared
Avoid conflicts at all costs
Feel slowed down and nervous
Have trouble setting boundaries
Find it easy to talk about despair
Use food, friends and "love" to self-medicate
Depression isn't the result of being a sissy, mama's boy or crybaby.It's the result of uncontrollable changes in brain chemistry, often caused by environmental triggers, like stress, divorce, death of a loved one or sudden financial troubles. Depression can also be caused by physical afflictions, such as food intolerances, B-vitamin deficiency or low thyroid (hypothyroidism).
What can I do
Fortunately there is a lot you can do to fix depression. Depression is a highly treatable disorder. In most cases it can be improved with a combination of lifestyle changes, professional therapy and medication.
Still it is believed that millions of American men suffering from depression are going untreated. If you think you might have depression, it is important that you do something about it. Don't let it defeat you without putting up a fight. Check out the Man Therapies section of my office. There you'll find self-help tools and a list of therapists in your area.