Depression in men
For a long time, there was a popular belief that men are not susceptible to depression. This prerogative was relegated to the female sex. But modern scientists in the field of medicine and psychology, numerous studies and practical observations came to the conclusion that depression in men is not so rare.
Symptoms of depression in men
The symptoms of the formation and development of depression in men are similar to a similar condition in women. Certain nuances can be noted individually.
So, the main symptoms of depression in men:
A feeling of constant fatigue: movements become slower, the pace of speech and thought activity changes.
There is a feeling of sleepiness or, on the contrary, there is insomnia. Often even prolonged sleep leaves a feeling of exhaustion.
Significant fluctuations in weight. Depression can be indicated by weight changes of more than 5% in the direction of increasing or decreasing.
Digestive disorders accompanied by constipation or diarrhea.
Irritability, intemperance in relation to other people and their actions.
Absent-mindedness, inability to concentrate. Depression interferes with concentration.
Aggression, feelings of anger due to the fact that in a state of depression a man cannot give higher results of his activities.
The emergence of bad habits. More often than not, men tend to drown out problems with the help of alcohol and drugs.
Intimate problems. Depressive states can lead to erectile dysfunction. Men try to keep silent about such difficulties as impotence and reduced sex drive, which makes things even worse.
Suicidal intentions. The extreme degree of manifestation of depression. Of course, men are less likely than women to take such a step, but statistically, fatal outcomes in men occur much more frequently.
If at least one of the symptoms is manifested for more than two weeks, then depression is diagnosed.
Causes of depression in men
Depression is the body’s response to an external stimulus that is psychotraumatic and causes negative emotions.
The causes of this condition lie in changes in the habitual way of life.
The main categories that can lead men to develop depression are distinguished:
Social reasons: lack of success at work, problems at work, mistakes in business, loss of a job, difficult financial situation, failures in the personal plan, family quarrels and conflicts, retirement;
Hormonal malfunctions: disorders of the hypothalamus and thyroid gland, increased release of adrenal hormones, decreased testosterone;
Traumas of the brain.
Separately, mention should be made of the causes of psycho-emotional. They become the most frequent in the development of depression.
Typical cases that give rise to the development of a depressive state:
Divorce. For men, this situation does not pass without a trace. Some go in search of new partners for sexual relations, others pile on the alcohol. For some, the divorce leads to a state of confusion. Family life with its usual pattern ended, and only the unknown ahead. The depressed state leads to sleep disorders, loss of appetite, and headaches.
Mid-life crisis. Many men struggle to get past the threshold of 40. During this period, they tend to summarize their years, and not all are satisfied with the results. Depression in this case can take radical forms, up to the loss of the meaning of life.
Depression after the birth of a child. Men also tend to experience “postpartum” depression. A beloved woman can no longer give all of her time to her husband. Now she is busy with the baby. Not always the man is able to adequately assess the situation, so this period is so often marked by cheating and divorce.
The range of reasons is quite diverse and depends on the specific situation. In any case, knowing the starting point of depression, it will be easier to cope with it.
How long does depression last in men?
The duration of depression in men depends on the severity of the condition.
Mild and moderate forms of depression can last up to 9 months. In most cases, men are able to cope with it on their own. However, consulting a specialist and taking the necessary medications can significantly reduce this period.
The dysthymic form of depression can accompany a person throughout his life. If such a condition is associated with a specific situation, such as the loss of a job, then depression usually recedes when a new position is taken.
How to deal with depression in men?
The main methods of dealing with depression are:
A combination of the two methods.
Self-fighting with depression is possible if the condition is in a mild or moderate form. To carry out such work, it is better to listen to the recommendations of specialists:
Confess to yourself about the presence of depression;
Identify the root cause that prompted the development of depression;
Plan your day, paying special attention to things that evoke pleasant emotions;
Make a daily, weekly and monthly schedule and stick to it as much as possible;
Avoid making serious decisions during depression;
To watch your diet, which should be full and balanced;
This is why it is important to take good care of your body, and also to periodically replace your mental work with physical work and vice versa.
Depression is called the disease of the century. No one is immune from it. The modern world is fast and aggressive. It’s impossible to have time to do everything and give one universal advice for all occasions. But to make your life pleasant and full of positive moments everyone is capable of!
Education: In 2005 I finished my internship at the Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University and received a diploma in neurology. In 2009, completed postgraduate studies in specialty “Nervous diseases”. Our authors
Depression in men
Today, depression is considered one of the most serious illnesses. Its widespread occurrence is due to the increase in stress levels and negative emotions. Modern people spend most of their time at work and often do not have the opportunity to spend quality time with family or friends. Despite the fact that depression has been recognized as a disease, some people are still reluctant to recognize it in themselves, while another part of society considers it a manifestation of laziness and unwillingness to change something in their lives. For example, many men are still reluctant to acknowledge the need for treatment for depression.
The Problem of Recognizing Depression in Society
There are still a lot of myths and misconceptions surrounding depression. For a long time, it was not common to go to a psychotherapist for its treatment. Even today, some people believe that such a serious mental disorder can be treated by physical labor or daily cares, while others mistakenly believe that negative emotions and depressive episodes are one and the same thing.
Everyone has sad moments, setbacks, stresses and tragic life events in their lives. All of these can serve as causes for the development of depression. Among its main signs are lack of interest in your favorite activities, unwillingness to communicate with people, pessimistic attitude towards life, and in especially severe situations – suicidal thoughts and actions.
Both men and women are susceptible to depression. But diagnosis and treatment of depression in men is complicated by the fact that they are not always willing to admit their mental health problem and are not inclined to discuss it. Some people are still unprepared for psychotherapy, believing that “antidepressants turn you into a vegetable” and that depressive episodes are “a consequence of laziness and bliss.” The problem is exacerbated by societal attitudes that forbid men to show emotion. Therefore, when depressed, men can become irritable and aggressive.
Men, emotions and depression
As a rule, men are less interested in their own mental and physical health than women. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t have any feelings – they just aren’t taught to do so without compromising the health of those around them. Accumulated stress translates into increased irritability, aggression or abuse of alcohol and smoking. And not every man decides to see a specialist.
Since men cannot always talk about their feelings, they may deny them for a long time. This creates difficult situations for families and children because depressed men are prone to increased irritability and aggression. Among the main causes of depressive states are financial problems, conflicts at work, inability to find a job, death of a loved one or divorce.
During depressive episodes in men, symptoms such as loss of interest in familiar activities, desire to spend time alone, irritability and aggression can often be found. Many patients also experience gastrointestinal problems in the form of diarrhea or nausea. A common sign of depression is a reluctance to be physically intimate with women. And symptoms such as constant fatigue, insomnia or hypersomnia are common in both sexes.
Untreated depressive disorder can lead to unfortunate consequences. Many men who have experienced a depressive episode for a long time and refuse to acknowledge it are prone to commit suicide. Often companions of depressive disorders are alcohol, drug or gambling addictions, and risky behavior. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that loved ones can be difficult to persuade a man to begin treatment.
Treating depression in men
Timely treatment of depression increases a patient’s chances of returning to a normal life. First of all, psychotherapy helps to cope with mental disorders. Therapeutic conversations with a specialist allow you to replace negative attitudes in life with more helpful ones, solve personal problems, and work through the psychological trauma that led to the depressive episodes.
The goal of psychotherapy is to teach the patient how to effectively manage the effects of stress and prevent a recurrence of depressive episodes. It helps to identify the underlying issues that interfere with a person’s interactions with others and learn how to tolerate stress. Medications can also be used in conjunction with therapeutic treatment. Medications can have side effects, so it is necessary to select them under the strict supervision of a psychotherapist. In cases of particularly severe depressive episodes, hospitalization may be required.
Successful treatment of mental disorders also depends on the patient’s lifestyle. Above all, he needs to get enough sleep, give up unhealthy habits and be physically active. A healthy lifestyle promotes more positive attitudes and increases the effectiveness of therapy. It is not necessary to spend 3 hours in the gym or follow a strict diet. Physical activity should be enjoyable, and diet should be balanced.
The increase in mental health disorders, including depressive episodes, is related to societal attitudes toward universal success. Often the cause of daily stress is anxiety, a feeling of dissatisfaction with life and powerlessness from the inability to cope with problems. If a person feels acutely that they “fall short” of the desired level of success, intelligence or well-being, this can lead to the development of a depressive episode.
Depressive states are difficult for not only the patient, but also his loved ones. He may encounter ambiguous and even aggressive reactions to his own feelings. It is not always the case that men or women around him or her have understanding interlocutors who are ready to help or support him or her. Unfortunately, a person in a depressive state often faces devaluation of his or her experiences, as well as unconstructive and contentless recommendations.
Support from loved ones, healthy habits and timely seeking help from a specialist are essential components of successful treatment of mental and physical illnesses, including depressive disorders.