The Mayo Clinic pointed to a few questions to ask about men’s depression. The case of male depression can, at times unfortunately, lead to suicide or isolation. They say, “Do you feel irritable, isolated or withdrawn? Do you find yourself working all the time? Drinking too much?”
These amount to unhealthy coping strategies. Men and women differ in their coping strategies. However, if a male and if feeing a bit different than usual on the more negative affect side, you can keep in mind a few things.
Some symptoms include:
- Feel sad, hopeless or empty
- Feel extremely tired
- Have difficulty sleeping
- Not get pleasure from activities they once enjoyed
Other behaviors in men that could be signs of depression — but not recognized as such — include:
- Escapist behavior, such as spending a lot of time at work or on sports
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Controlling, violent or abusive behavior
- Irritability or inappropriate anger
- Risky behavior, such as reckless driving
These unhealthy coping strategies may be clues that you have male depression. The behaviour and signs can overlap. The severity of the depressive symptoms and signs can be different as well.
However, the tendency in the culture is towards men not going out to ask for help. Males not asking for help can make the reportage about depression just that, an underreported phenomenon.
Men may downplay the symptoms: “You may not recognize how much your symptoms affect you, or you may not want to admit to yourself or to anyone else that you’re depressed.”
They may not recognize the depressive symptoms for depression itself, potentially: “Men with depression often aren’t diagnosed for several reasons, including: You may think that feeling sad or emotional is always the main symptom of depression. But for many men, that isn’t the primary symptom.”
Men may be reluctant to even discuss it if they suspect something is up: “You may not be open to talking about your feelings with family or friends, let alone with a health care professional.”
Males who find, finally, that this is something wrong, amiss, and potentially needing to be dealt will still not go out and get proper help: “Even if you suspect you have depression, you may avoid diagnosis or refuse treatment.”
As a result, men may attempt suicide in these cases. In the cases of suicidal thoughts and fear that you, the man, may hurt yourself or are afraid a male in your life may hurt themselves:
- Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
- Call a suicide hotline number — in the United States, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor.
In order to cope with the depression, as help is always available, some lifestyle and worldview things to do according to the Mayo Clinic:
- Set realistic goals and prioritize tasks.
- Seek out emotional support from a partner or family or friends.
- Learn ways to manage stress, such as meditation and mindfulness, and develop problem-solving skills.
- Delay making important decisions, such as changing jobs, until your depression symptoms improve.
- Engage in activities you enjoy, such as ball games, fishing or a hobby.
- Live a healthy lifestyle, including healthy eating and regular physical activity, to help promote better mental health.
If you or someone you know needs help, it is always there. You simply need to ask or keep an eye out.
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