Men and depression
The Depressive Disorder traditionally been associated primarily with female sex, among other things because apparently there is a greater proportion of women diagnosed with depression than men. But this does not mean that it does not exist, even that it is more usual than it seems or the cases that come to light.
Because the reality is that men also suffer from depression, although their symptoms may be somewhat different . That is why it is important that we understand how to identify the symptoms of male depression. Many people are familiar with depressive symptoms such as sadness, apathy, crying, etc., but are often confused when symptoms of depression are expressed in men as anger, rage, resentment, hostility, behaviors abuse , alcohol addiction , unexplainable irritability, hopelessness, low self-esteem and feelings of confused identity.
They hide their emotions
Men are well known for their tendency to cover or hide their true feelings on numerous occasions . Sometimes they tend to have so many layers in their patterns of thought and personality, that helping them to increase awareness of what is happening to them or feeling is very complicated. But why ?, mainly because society transmits that any expression of an emotion can cause a social reaction that is not always accepted. It is a sad reality that a man will suffer in silence to avoid social ostracism before seeking help.
What we can do: If you know a man who may be struggling with depression but refuses to ask for help, you can offer to talk to him about how he feels, provide him with a book, article or website on the subject. Be careful with the way to raise the issue, because some men are likely to become defensive and feel offended. Tell him you care and you just want to make sure he’s okay.
They seem too happy or cheerful
Trying to project a happy or excessively cheerful facade is not something specific only to men, since many women also do this. But they have a reputation for being funnier and tend to be more sarcastic about their feelings or the feelings of others. It’s almost as if sarcasm or laughter about issues like depression is something men have to do.
What we can do: Avoid laughter or smiling in the face of sarcastic comments that seem insensitive to others’ feelings or depressed moods. It is best to discredit any myth about masculinity and highlight the importance of being sensitive to someone who may be depressed. Most men need to know that depression is not a laughing matter.
Drink more and / or take recreational drugs
Many men drink wine or beer. Again, it is a very cultural “macho” thing and that is to have a beer for the kids and “hang out”. Because most men have very established customs like this, it can be difficult to determine precisely to what extent this has become an act of “self-medication”.
What we can do: Try to control your drinking if possible, without him knowing it. Do you drink the weekend? Do you drink every weekend? Are you drinking every night after work? Do you get defensive when you tell him about his drinking? If so, it can be something that requires more attention. Depression often surprises men who internalize their feelings and may lead them to a greater need for alcohol or other addictive behaviors to help cope with their feelings and emotions.
Being more irritable, angry, hostile or resentful without an obvious reason
Men can be complicated when it comes to mood regulation. One way to determine if depression is at the center of irritable mood is to observe your behavior in other settings, close to other people and during certain times of the day. Men who suffer from depression are often more irritable than normal and are angry about things that once did not generate this feeling.
What we can do: Talk to him about his irritability in a way that makes him feel that you care about his well-being. You can hint at whether this way of behaving works for you. Or, you can address the issue real and honestly. Either way, let her know that you have noticed a “change” in her behavior and you wonder why.
They use a pessimistic or fatalistic language
Many people use a fatalistic language at some point. Life is not always wonderful and certainly not always predictable. Because of this, it is normal for someone to feel desperate and maybe even sometimes defeated and express their emotions using this type of language. But if a man uses the fatalistic or pessimistic language a lot and it is not something that he usually does, this can be a clue or sign that depression and despair are present. You can intentionally use this type of language in the hope of getting someone’s attention or even shut up, because that is really what you feel.
What we can do: If pessimism or negativity is not your typical behavior, try to address the issue at a time when it seems somewhat receptive. You can start by asking simple questions without sounding accusing such as “why so much negativity lately?” “What’s going on?” Or you can also address the issue by first declaring your own fight as “I fully understand your perspective I also try to maintain a positive attitude, but I’m not used to feeling this way. ”
Losing interest in things you once enjoyed
Men are interesting when it comes to feelings of hopelessness, lack of motivation, or anhedonia . Many cover their emotions by saying things like “I’m fine”, “I’m just tired”, or “I’m happy even if it does not show right now”. In this way they cover emotions and distract attention from their depressed mood. If the man is trying to convince others that they are the same person they have always been, something is not right.
What we can do: what we can do here is set an example. You can plan activities and try to involve the man in these activities that should be fun. We can set the example by letting ourselves go and allowing ourselves to experience a little joy. It must be a sincere act, that transmits security, for him to participate and try to be happy, even if it is only for a moment
Constant search for emotion
Some men, when depressed, look for strong emotions and things that excite them in some way. Sex, food, acceleration, cheating, drinking, using drugs, or spending money are some examples of activities that men seek an escape route. The purpose of this is to decrease feelings of depression and increase “feeling good” through hormones (ie, adrenaline ). Unfortunately, some men are going to participate in self-injurious behaviors.
What we can do: If a man is participating in self-injurious behaviors or unsafe behaviors only by emotions, it is time to have a serious discussion. Depression can be treated and most men learn to deal positively with symptoms, but other types of behaviors have much more harmful and dangerous effects. Do not pressure him to seek help, it is better to start trying to get him to understand that unsafe behavior will lead to more problems along the way.
We hope that this article can help you in case you need it and that these tips can be useful