Depression might not be as evident in men. The typical depressive scenarios of lethargy and isolation are exchanged for aggression and working long hours. Men will see more irritability in depression as well as abusiveness. Other manifestations of depression in men can include physical pain, especially in the back, migraines, headaches, insomnia, and sexual performance issues.
Is Depression Different for Men?
Finding evidence of depression in men is a symptom of how easy depression can be to miss in men. Due to societal norms and cultural pressures, many men feel a sense of obligation in hiding their emotions. Men face a certain masculinity that involves being level headed and reliable, thereby seemingly abnormal emotions are interpreted as weakness. Unfortunately, this conditioned need to hide true feelings can complicate the ability to receive help. Of course, help might be perceived as even more demasculinizing. Without treatment, depression can lead to other manifestations and consequences.
Suicide is a tragic side effect of depression. When depression goes untreated, both pharmacologically and therapeutically, it can especially increase the chance of suicide. Statistically, men are more likely than women to commit suicide. Combining a lack of treatment with pressures to perform, succeed, and be strong, men can succumb to the ultimate pressure of their depression.
What Causes Male Depression?
Depression in either males or females is due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. There can be other contributing factors. For example, hormones and emotional experiences can play a part. A sudden drop in testosterone or hormones produced by the thyroid can increase depression. Sex hormone issues can be tied to impaired sexual performance, which commonly causes depression in men.
Medications for treating sexual deficiency, or any other symptoms of depression can actually enhance the effects of depression itself. To cope with the symptoms of depression, many men turn to self-medication. Alcohol is a depressant. Other drugs that are sedative in nature can act as depressants as well. Using, or abusing, substances may temporarily relieve the uncomfortable experience of depression, but it may make the depression worse.
What to Do if a Male in Your Life is Suffering Depression
Assure them that acknowledging their depression is not a sign of failure, inadequacy or deficiency. By embracing their emotions and seeking help, they are demonstrating a great strength. With the love and support of their family, they will be able to make a full recovery from depression.