Depression In Men:

How to Get the Man In Your Life the Depression Help He Needs

Depression in men is an all too common problem in our society. Yet many think only women get depressed. If a man in your life is dealing with depression, you may not know how to get him the depression help he needs. This article on treating depression in men will give you tips on how to talk about depression with the man in your life, and how to go about helping him to cope with depression. 

Cloaked man under an umbrella on a sidewalk near bright lightsDepression Impacts Marriage Negatively and can Ruin a Relationship, So Getting Help is Important


Suffering In Silence

Men tend to hide their depression well, or shield it under a banner of anger and shame, often suffering in silence. Men tend to deal with depression differently than women and may show different signs that they are depressed. Yes, depression is often a hidden problem with men, and many men tend to suffer in silence, rather than talk about their feelings.

Depression in men or women can lead to relationship problems. When an otherwise healthy relationship suddenly goes sour, often there is a hidden depression problem lurking under the surface. In other words, one or both relationship partners may be depressed.

Depression has been thought of as mostly a problem for women, but now we know that depression affects men, too. Depression in men may go undetected . . . and men may not realize they are depressed, but may recognize they are feeling stressed.

And, what’s worse, their health care providers often miss the telltale signs.

Depression is a normal part of life. Yet, if it goes unresolved, it can increase, and it can exert a disastrous affect on personal functioning, relationships and careers. Depression in men can result in temporary personality changes, uncharacteristic bouts of anger and moodiness, communication problems, susceptibility to conflict, and disinterest in romance.

Thus, depression is a condition that must be recognized and treated for men to be their happiest and to function on their highest level.




Depression In Men: Recognizing The Signs Of Depression


1. Men who are depressed may suddenly become irritable and quick to anger. Non-aggressive men may become more aggressive and hostile. Aggressive men may become more aggressive.

2. Some depressed men may begin to abuse alcohol or drugs, or turn to food for comfort, although some may eat less. Each person is different.

3. Some men may over-exercise, while others may stop. Depression results in a change in a person's base line behavior.

4. One man may throw himself into a favorite hobby whereas a workaholic may become more dependent upon work ... while ignoring his health and his relationships. And losing sight of balance in his life. Some men detach themselves from others.

5. Men may show more typical signs of depression, too, such as, feelings of fatigue and burn-out, sleep disturbances and decreased libido. Thought patterns may change; men may think more negatively and perceive the world in darker, more threatening ways. This can be a subtle change, and may appear as a negative thinking style. Depressed men may start feeling anxious and worried, and respond poorly to daily problems or stress at work or home, either over-reacting or under-reacting.

Men may not discuss the way they are feeling with anyone, and may not recognize the changes themselves. As a result of societal conditioning, depressed men may tend not to talk about their stress with their friends, unlike women, who tend to get support from other women, and express their feelings more readily.

Some men may react to their depression by feeling embarrassed or ashamed, thus avoiding the issue.

Depression in men can have a negative impact on family life, career performance, and social functioning, with primary relationships suffering the most.

1. Men who are depressed may suddenly become irritable and quick to anger. Non-aggressive men may become more aggressive and hostile. Aggressive men may become more aggressive.

2. Some depressed men may begin to abuse alcohol or drugs, or turn to food for comfort, although some may eat less. Each person is different.

3. Some men may over-exercise, while others may stop. Depression results in a change in a person's base line behavior.

4. One man may throw himself into a favorite hobby whereas a workaholic may become more dependent upon work ... while ignoring his health and his relationships. And losing sight of balance in his life. Some men detach themselves from others.

5. Men may show more typical signs of depression, too, such as, feelings of fatigue and burn-out, sleep disturbances and decreased libido. Thought patterns may change; men may think more negatively and perceive the world in darker, more threatening ways. This can be a subtle change, and may appear as a negative thinking style. Depressed men may start feeling anxious and worried, and respond poorly to daily problems or stress at work or home, either over-reacting or under-reacting.

Men may not discuss the way they are feeling with anyone, and may not recognize the changes themselves. As a result of societal conditioning, depressed men may tend not to talk about their stress with their friends, unlike women, who tend to get support from other women, and express their feelings more readily.

Some men may react to their depression by feeling embarrassed or ashamed, thus avoiding the issue.

Depression in men can have a negative impact on family life, career performance, and social functioning, with primary relationships suffering the most.

Man and dog sitting against the side of a barn in high grassReaching out to a depressed man, who is keeping to himself or hiding his feelings, is important . . . but be sure to go about it in the right way

Strategies For Dealing With Depression In Men

First, if you notice that a man you care about is depressed, don't beat him over the head with your observations; be careful how you approach the subject, or you may make your relationship problems worse. You might try sharing your concern with him, mentioning that you have noticed one or two of his symptoms, or discussing the signs of depression you’ve noticed.

Go gently ... and see if you can get him to open up about how he's feeling. Express your concern.

Avoid being critical. Don't blame, lecture or critique him.

Just listen and tell him how concerned you are.

Second, if you know someone the depressed man knows and respects, such as a close co-worker, his father, pastor/priest or best friend, suggest that he talk to that person. Or, you may enlist the help of a family member who has his ear.

Third, try to get him to see his doctor (or yours), and encourage him to talk to his doctor about his depressed feelings (maybe he needs to go for other reasons, too). The physician can make a referral for counseling or prescribe helpful anti-depressant medication, ensuring he’ll get the depression help he needs.

Fourth, sometimes we men need a little prodding (and pampering). Be persistent and don't give up, as long as you proceed in a non-threatening manner. Remember, you want the man in your life to view your efforts to help him as a sign of your deep-felt concern, rather than an attempt to nag, harass him or control him!

He won't end up feeling pressured by you if you always state your concern in non-demanding ways.

How you say something is as important as what you say. Some sensitive men are hard to approach, but they tend to respond favorably when you talk to them in a direct, caring and gentle manner. Avoid allowing your body language or tone of voice to express anger or contempt.

And, remember . . . Depression in men will often result in greater sensitivity to criticism or blame.

Consider the impact depression can have on relationships, especially intimate ones. A man's marriage can suffer because of his depression, and he may not realize what's wrong. His wife will feel the impact, and struggle to keep from getting depressed; so, his biggest support system may be compromised, which only compounds the problem.

Counseling

Depression in men is a serious problem . . . one that warrants constructive action. If you are in an intimate relationship with a depressed partner, it is often best to seek counseling. If your efforts to help have gone for naught, you should consider professional help . . . before the problems become all too serious.

It can be easier and more effective to sit down with a trained relationship professional to discuss your relationship problems than risking another dreaded argument or fight. Talk therapy can be just as effective as medication, if not more so. And the combination of the two can be even more effective.

Remember . . . depression in men can become quite serious and lead to other mental health problems. So it is best to take it seriously and encourage your man to get the depression help he needs.

Depression and Your Relationship

Without a doubt, the depression of one spouse can injure the other. And it can have a derogatory impact upon the relationship in general, giving both partners a sense of despair, and causing them to view the relationship in pessimistic terms.

Also, depression can keep a relationship down. It is difficult for the non-depressed spouse to keep a positive attitude when he/she has to constantly deal with an unhappy, sad or anxious spouse. Frequently, the spouse of the depressed person will blame himself/herself or interpret the depressed spouse's actions as a rejection.

The non-depressed spouse will need support to stay strong.

Suggestions

Depression in men is a bit of a well kept secret in our world. Depressed men may not know they are depressed and may not recognize the signs of depression . . . and often they choose not to talk about the problem. Yet depression can have a derogatory affect on relationships, family life, career success and all areas of endeavor.

To help a depressed man:

-- Look for signs of depression, such as behavioral changes, and talk to the depressed man in a sympathetic way. Avoid allowing depression to remain in the closet.

-- Give the man in your life, whether it be your husband, father, brother or friend, lots of support and encouragement. Establish communication about your concerns, but use a gentle touch.

-- Depression can have a serious impact on your marriage, and can cause serious stress. Dealing with depression in your relationship is best done as a couple. So work together!

In Sum

Help your spouse get the help he needs to decrease stress and overcome depression. If there are problems in your relationship that are contributing to the depression, it is wise to address them. Don't allow depression to rob you of joy and happiness. Face it, find solutions and move on! One way to treat depression in men is to help them decrease stress . . . read about it here.

Go to Interesting Topics from Men and Depression 


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