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Depression is a serious mental health issue that affects both men and women but their symptoms can be very different. Depression, also called Major Depressive Disorder or Clinical Depression, is a common but serious medical illness that may lead to a variety of severe emotional and physical problems, affecting the ability to feel, think, and function at work and home.
Unfortunately, men often suffer from depression in silence due to the social stigma attached to mental health issues. Another reason is that men who are depressed sometimes appear to be angry, irritable, or aggressive instead of sad. This makes it more difficult for their loved ones and sometimes, even their doctors to recognize the anger or aggression as depression symptoms.
Everybody gets sad, exhausted, or unmotivated once in a while. Life has its ups and downs, and during the downs, it could feel as if you don’t have the will to go on. Most of the time, this feeling doesn’t last, and we dust ourselves and move on after a few days. Although the word “depression” is often used to express fleeting feelings of fatigue and disillusionment with life, depression is deeper than that. It is important to be aware of the signs of depression to seek help if needed. Here are five signs of depression in men:
Sign #1: Changes in Mood or Behaviour.
One of the most telling signs of depression in men is changes in their mood and behaviour. Men who are suffering from depression often exhibit mood swings, loss of interest, irritability, fatigue, and uncharacteristic anger or aggressiveness. Some of the changes in mood include:
● Lack of motivation
● Loss of interest in work, family, or desire to do things previously enjoyed
● Problems with sexual desire and performance
● Overeating or not wanting to eat at all
Some behaviour changes you may notice in a depressed man are:
● Not being able to concentrate or remember details
● Low energy and poor concentration
Sign #2: Physical Aches and Insomnia.
Depression can cause physical aches like headaches and body aches, digestive problems, and cramps. It can also cause insomnia or uneasy sleep. Disturbances in sleep patterns can take on many forms. You may:
● Have trouble falling asleep even when you’re exhausted
● Experience interrupted sleep regularly
● Often wake up multiple times throughout the night
● Sleep for long hours and still wake up tired
90% of people suffering from depression report overwhelming fatigue, which could result from a lack of quality sleep.
Sign #3: Low Self-Esteem and Self-Doubt.
Depression may cause a man’s self-esteem to plummet. A man who was once extremely confident can become riddled with low esteem and self-doubt. This leads to a pessimistic view of the future and a negative outlook on life that can manifest in the form of continuous feelings of worthlessness, guilt, sadness, anxiety, restlessness, hopelessness, and guilt.
Sign #4: Risky Behaviours.
Men who are depressed may engage in dangerous, high-risk, and self-destructive behaviours as a way to cope with emotions that are too painful or to escape from their tumultuous feelings. Some of the risky behaviours you may notice in a depressed man are:
● Reckless Driving
● Alcohol and Drug Abuse
● Engaging in unsafe sex practices
Sign #5: Withdrawal From Family and Friends.
Men who are depressed tend to withdraw from their loved ones, isolating themselves from people. Although the isolation is usually self-inflicted, they also feel lonely and alone. Isolation can be dangerous and increases the risk of early death.
Men who are depressed often fear the social stigma of accepting their condition. You must also bear in mind that it is not a feeling they can easily shake off. You can help by offering understanding, patience, encouragement, and support.
Additionally, if you suspect that a loved one is depressed, provide a listening ear, encourage them to seek a professional diagnosis, and help them to increase their physical and social activity by inviting them out for walks and events. To also help a man showing signs of depression, you can encourage them to speak to a professional therapist. We offer affordable therapy through the DRO Health mental health package and it can be accessed at anytime.
Our final words,
Men and women both experience depression. Although it affects a large number of men, men are less likely to recognize the signs and seek treatment for depression. If you recognize depression in a man, encourage them to get professional help. You can also give them understanding, encouragement, and a listening ear. Remember to keep trying if they decline your help. Depression causes men to push away their loved ones and isolate themselves, which could be detrimental.
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