Depression in Men. Feeling depressed is not a sign of weakness and you don’t have to put up with it. These tips can help you overcome depression and feel happier and more optimistic today.
What is male depression?
As men, we like to think we are strong and in control of our emotions. When we feel hopeless or overwhelmed with despair, we often deny it or try to hide it. But depression is a common problem that affects many of us at some point in our lives, not a sign of emotional weakness or failed masculinity.
Depression affects millions of men of all ages and walks of life, as well as those who care about them: spouses, partners, friends, and family. Of course, it’s normal for someone to feel frustrated sometimes. Mood swings are a common reaction to life losses, setbacks, and disappointments. However, depression in men changes the way you think, feel, and function in your daily life. It can hinder your productivity at work or school and affect your relationships, sleep, diet, and overall joy of life. Major depression can be intense and persistent.
Unfortunately, depression in men is often overlooked because many of us find it difficult to talk about our feelings. Instead, we tend to focus on the physical symptoms that often accompany depression in men, such as back pain, headaches, trouble sleeping, or sexual problems. This can lead to untreated underlying depression, which can have serious consequences. Men with depression are four times more likely to commit suicide than women, so it’s essential to seek help with depression before feelings of hopelessness turn into suicidal feelings. Talk honestly with a friend, loved one, or doctor about what’s going on in your mind and body. Once correctly diagnosed, there’s a lot you can do to successfully treat and manage depression in men and prevent it from coming back.
Signs and symptoms of depression in men
Men tend to be less aware of the symptoms of depression than women. A man is more likely to deny his feelings, hide them from himself and others, or try to hide them with other behaviors. And although men can experience typical symptoms of depression such as low mood, loss of interest in work or hobbies, weight and sleep disturbances, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating, they can more likely to experience “underground” depressive symptoms such as anger, substance abuse, and restlessness.
The three most often overlooked signs of depression in men are:
- Physical pain. Sometimes depression in men manifests as physical symptoms, such as back pain, frequent headaches, trouble sleeping, sexual dysfunction, or digestive upset, that don’t respond to conventional treatment. often.
- Angry. This can range from irritability, sensitivity to criticism, or loss of sense of humor to road rage, short temper, or even violence. Some men become abusive or controlling.
- Reckless behavior. A depressed man may exhibit fleeing or risky behavior, such as playing dangerous sports, reckless driving, or having unprotected sex. You may drink too much, abuse drugs, or become addicted to gambling.
How do you know if you are depressed?
If you identify more than one of the following, you may be depressed.
- You feel hopeless and helpless
- You’ve lost interest in friends, activities, and things you used to enjoy
- You’re much more irritable, short-tempered, or aggressive than usual
- You’re consuming more alcohol, engaging in reckless behavior, or self-medicating
- You feel restless and agitated
- Your sleep and appetite have changed
- You can’t concentrate or your productivity at work has declined
- You can’t control your negative thoughts
Triggers for depression in men
There’s no single cause of depression in men. Biological, psychological, and social factors all play a part, as do lifestyle choices, relationships, and coping skills.
While any man can suffer from depression, there are some risk factors that make a man more vulnerable, such as:
- Loneliness and lack of social support
- Inability to effectively deal with stress
- A history of alcohol or drug abuse
- Early childhood trauma or abuse
- Aging in isolation, with few social outlets
- Depression and erectile dysfunction
- Impotence or erectile dysfunction is not only a trigger of depression in men, it can also be a side effect of many antidepressant medications.
Men with sexual function problems are almost twice as likely to be depressed as those without.
Depression increases the risk of erectile dysfunction. Many men are reluctant to admit sexual problems, thinking it is a reflection of their masculinity rather than a treatable problem caused by depression.
Get help for depression in men
Don’t try to overcome depression alone. It takes courage to seek help, either from a loved one or from a professional. Most men with depression respond well to self-help steps such as seeking social support, exercising, adopting a healthy diet, and making other lifestyle changes.
But don’t expect your mood to improve immediately. You will probably start to feel a little better each day. Many men recovering from depression notice an improvement in their sleep and appetite before their mood improves. But these self-help steps can have a powerful impact on the way you think and feel, helping you overcome symptoms of depression and regain some joy in your life.
Tip 1: Seek social support
Work commitments can often keep men from finding time to nurture friendships, but the first step to combating depression in men is to find people you can truly connect with, meet, and connect with. direct face. That doesn’t mean just joking with co-workers or chatting about sports with the guy sitting next to you at the bar. That means finding someone you feel comfortable sharing your feelings with, someone who will listen to you without judging you or telling you how you should think or feel.
You may think it’s not very manly to discuss your feelings, but whether you realize it or not, you’ve already communicated your feelings to those around you; you just don’t use words. If you get angry, drink more than usual, or punch holes in the wall, your loved ones will know something is wrong. Choosing to talk about what you’re going through instead can help you feel better.
Find social support
For many men, especially when they’re dealing with depression, reaching out to other guys can feel overwhelming. But developing and maintaining close relationships is key to getting you through these difficult times. If you feel like you have no one to turn to, it’s never too late to make new friends and improve your support network.
How to seek help for depression?
- Seek support from people who make you feel safe and cared for. The person you’re talking to isn’t necessarily capable of correcting you; they just need to be a good listener, someone who will listen carefully and with compassion without distracting or judging you.
- Prioritize meeting time. Phone calls, social media, and texting are all great ways to stay in touch, but they’re no substitute for a good time in person. The simple act of talking directly to someone about how you are feeling can play an important role in alleviating depression and staying away from it.
- Try to keep track of social activities even if you don’t feel like it. Usually, when you’re depressed, you’ll feel more comfortable in your shell, but being around other people will make you feel less depressed.
- Find ways to support others. Getting help is good, but research shows your mood is even more improved by helping yourself. So find ways, big or small, to help others:
volunteer, listen to a friend, do something nice for someone.
- Take care of the pet. While nothing can replace human connection, pets can bring joy and companionship into your life, and help you feel less isolated. Taking care of a pet can also leave you feeling lost and in need, two powerful antidotes to depression.
- Join a depression support group. Being with other depressed people can help you to reduce feelings of isolation in the long run. You can also encourage each other, give and receive advice on coping, and share your experiences. Invite someone to a football game, a movie, or a concert. There are plenty of other people who are just as embarrassed as you when it comes to reaching out and making friends. Be the icebreaker.
- Call or email an old friend. Even if you’ve pulled away from relationships that were once important to you, try to reconnect.
Tip 2: Support your health
Positive lifestyle changes can help reduce depression and prevent it from coming back.
Set a goal of eight hours of sleep. Depression is often associated with sleep problems; Whether you sleep too little or too much, your mood will suffer. Schedule better sleep by learning healthy sleep habits.
Keep stress under control. Stress not only prolongs and worsens depression, it can also trigger it. Find out all the things in your life that are causing you stress, such as overwork, money problems, or unsupportive relationships, and find ways to relieve the pressure and regain control. control.
Practice relaxation techniques. Daily relaxation practices can help reduce symptoms of depression, reduce stress, and enhance feelings of joy and happiness. Try yoga, deep breathing, gradual muscle relaxation, or meditation.
Spend time in the sun. Getting outside during the day and exposing yourself to the sun can help boost serotonin levels and improve your mood. Go for a walk, have a coffee outside, do some gardening, or double the benefits by exercising outside. If you live where there is little sunlight in the winter, try using a light therapy box.
Developing a ‘wellness toolkit’ for dealing with depression
Make a list of things you can do to quickly lift your spirits. The more “tools” you have for dealing with depression, the better.
Try to implement a few of these ideas every day, even if you feel good.
- Spend time in nature.
- Make a list of what you like about yourself.
- Read a good book. Watch a funny movie or TV show.
- Take a long hot shower.
- Take care of a few small tasks.
- Play with pets.
- Talk directly to your friends or family. Listening to music.
- Do something spontaneous.
Tip 3: Exercise for better mental and physical health
When you’re depressed, getting out of bed can seem like a daunting task, let alone exercise. But exercise is a powerful depression fighter and one of the most important tools in your recovery arsenal. Research shows that regular exercise can be as effective as medication in reducing depressive symptoms. It also helps prevent recurrence when you are well.
For best results, aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. It’s not necessary to do it all at once, and there’s nothing wrong with starting small. A 10-minute walk can improve your mood in two hours.
Exercise is something you can do right now to improve your mood
- Your fatigue will improve if you stick with it. Starting to exercise can be difficult when you’re depressed and feeling exhausted. But research shows your energy levels will improve if you keep going. Exercise will help you feel more energized and less tired, not more.
- Find exercises that are continuous and rhythmic. The main benefits of depression come from aerobic exercises, such as walking, strength training, swimming, or martial arts, where you move your arms and legs.Add an element of mindfulness, especially if your depression stems from unresolved trauma or is fueled by obsessive and negative thoughts. Focus on how your body feels as you move, such as the feeling of your feet touching the ground, the feeling of the wind against your skin, or the rhythm of your breathing.
- Pair with an exercise partner. Working with others not only allows you to spend time socializing, but it can also help you stay motivated. Try joining a running club, find a tennis partner, or join a soccer or volleyball tournament.
- Walk with a dog. If you don’t have a dog, you can volunteer to walk a homeless dog for a rescue group or animal shelter. Not only will you help yourself, but you’ll also help socialize and exercise your dog, making them more adaptable.
Tip 4: Eat healthy to improve your health
What you eat has a direct impact on how you feel.
Minimize sugar and refined carbohydrates. You may crave sugary snacks, baked goods, or comfort foods like pasta or chips, but these “pleasant” foods quickly lead to low mood and energy.
Reduce your intake of foods that can affect your mood, such as caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, and foods high in chemical or hormone preservatives. Eat plenty of omega-3 fatty acids to improve your mood. The best sources are fatty fish (salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines), seaweed, flaxseeds, and walnuts.
Try foods rich in mood-boosting nutrients, such as bananas (magnesium to reduce anxiety, vitamin B6 to promote alertness, tryptophan to increase serotonin levels) and spinach (magnesium, folate to reduce restlessness and improve sleep).
Avoid vitamin B deficiency which can cause depression. Eat plenty of citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, beans, chicken, and eggs.
Tip 5: Challenging negative thinking
Do you feel helpless or weak? That bad things happen and there’s not much you can do about it? That your situation is hopeless? Depression puts a negative spin on everything, including the way you see yourself and your expectations for the future.
When these thought patterns overwhelm you, it’s important to remember that these are symptoms of your depression and that these pessimistic and irrational attitudes, known as cognitive distortions, are unrealistic. When you really consider them, they don’t stick together. But even so, it can be difficult for them to let go.
You can’t get out of this pessimistic mindset by telling yourself “Just think positively”. Often it’s part of a fixed mindset that has become so automatic that you’re not even fully aware of it. Instead, the trick is to identify the type of negative thoughts that are fueling your depression and replace them with more balanced thinking.
Negative and unrealistic thoughts cause depression in men
- All-or-nothing thinking. See things in black or white, with no middle ground (“If I’m not perfect, I’m a total failure”).
- Over-generalization. Generalizing from a single negative experience, hoping it will last forever (“I can’t do anything right”)
- Mental filter. Ignore the positive events and focus on the negative. Realize that one thing has gone wrong, rather than all the things that have happened.
- Positive reduction. Find out why positive events don’t count (“She said she had fun on our date, but I think she’s cool.”)
- Go to concluded. Making negative interpretations without corroborating evidence. You act like a mind reader (“She must think I’m pathetic”) or a fortune teller (“I’ll be stuck in this dead end forever”).
- Emotional reasoning. Believe that the way you feel is a reflection of reality (“I feel like an asshole. I’m really not okay!”)
- “Should” and “Shouldn’t”. Follow a strict list of what you should and shouldn’t do, and yell at yourself if you don’t follow your rules. Labeling. Rate yourself based on perceived mistakes and shortcomings (“I’m a loser; an idiot; a loser.”)
Put your thoughts on the witness stand
Once you’ve identified the negative thought patterns that are contributing to your depression, you can begin to challenge them with questions like:
- “What proof is there that this thinking is true? Incorrect?”
- “What would I say to a friend who thinks that way?” »
- “Is there another way to look at the situation or another explanation?”
- “How can I see this situation if I’m not depressed?”
As you cross-examine your negative thoughts, you may be surprised how quickly they fall apart. In the process, you will develop a more balanced outlook and help ease your depression.
Professional treatment for depression in men
If support from family, friends, and positive lifestyle changes aren’t enough, seek help from a mental health professional. Be open about how you’re feeling as well as your physical symptoms. Treatments for depression in men include:
Therapy. You may feel that talking about your problems with a stranger is not masculine or that the therapy involves being a victim. However, if therapy is available to you, it can often bring quick relief to even the most skeptical of men.
Medicine. Antidepressants can help relieve some symptoms of depression, but they don’t cure the underlying problem and are rarely a long-term solution. Medicines also have side effects. Even if you decide which medication is right for you, always follow the self-help steps. Therapy and lifestyle changes can address the underlying causes of your depression to prevent it from coming back when you can stop the antidepressant.
How to help a man with depression?
It is common for a wife, partner, or other family member to recognize the symptoms of depression in a man. Even if a man suspects he is depressed, he may feel ashamed of not being able to help himself and only seek help when a loved one puts pressure on him.
Talk to a man about depression
Many men don’t exhibit typical depressive symptoms such as low mood, so you can avoid using the word “depressive” and try to describe his behavior as “stressful” or “overwhelming.” tired”. It might help open it up.
Point out how his behavior has changed without judgment. For example, “You always seem to have a stomach ache before work” or “You haven’t played squash in months.”
Suggest a general checkup with your doctor. At first, he may be less reluctant to see his GP than to see a psychiatrist. Your doctor can rule out medical causes for your depression and then make a referral.
Offer to go with her on her first visit to a doctor or mental health professional. Some men are afraid to talk about their feelings, so try to remove the barriers that keep them from asking for help.
Encourage him to make a list of symptoms to discuss. Help him focus on his emotional as well as physical ailments and be honest about his alcohol and drug use 슬롯게임 사이트.
How to support a man with depression?
Engage him in the conversation and listen without judgment. Don’t belittle any sentiments it shows, but point out facts and give hope.
Take any comment about suicide seriously. In the United States, call the Suicide and Crisis Hotline at 988 or find a suicide helpline in another country on Befrienders Worldwide.
Invite him to social activities, whether it’s just going for a walk together or having lunch with friends. If your invitation is declined, keep trying.
Encourage him to participate in activities that used to make him happy, such as hobbies, sports, or cultural activities. But don’t force him to do too much too soon.
Don’t tell him ‘get out of it’. Instead, reassure him that with time and support, he will start to feel better. Keep an eye on whether he is taking prescription medication or undergoing treatment. If he’s been prescribed an antidepressant, encourage him to follow instructions about drinking.
Remember that you cannot “fix” someone else’s depression. You are not responsible for your loved one’s depression or responsible for their happiness. While your support may be crucial to his recovery, it’s ultimately in his hands.