Imagine a situation where someone is constantly demeaning you and making you feel like low, you isolate yourself from the rest of the world and question your own existence. Sounds scary right? This is exactly how depression looks like. While men are less depressed than women, the official numbers don’t give an exact figure of depression rates in men.
“Men are diagnosed about half as frequently as women with depression – but that’s still a lot,” says Ronald Levant, Ed.D., co-founder of the Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity. “It is the most frequently diagnosed mental illness by a long shot and there are still a lot of men who suffer from depression.”
What Is Clinical Depression?
Clinical depression can be classified as feelings of sadness, worthlessness, anxiety, insomnia, lack of energy and desire to eat or be productive, not able to concentrate and suicidal thoughts persisting over a prolonged period of time like weeks or even months.
How does it feel to be depressed?
Depression affects your life to a big extent. It makes you feel like you have been wrapped in heavy chains, doing simple tasks like going from one room to another or lifting a cup feels like an impossible task. Along with this, an overwhelming feeling of sadness engulfs you which sometimes turns into a phase where your brain is thoughtless and unable to process any emotions or information, insomnia makes you weaker. Eventually, you start giving up and lose all hope and you are drowned by suicidal thoughts. Things that actually matter are ignored by you and useless thoughts no matter how stupid and mean they sound, make more sense to you. According to the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention men are 3.5 more likely to commit suicide as compared to women.
Why Do Men Don’t Talk About Depression
The main reason why men don’t talk about depression is the fact that men are trained from their childhood to be strong and don’t let feelings of sadness affect them. Due to this reason, men try to hide their feelings of weakness or grief and try to indulge themselves with extra work, cut themselves off from everyone or start drinking copious amounts of alcohol. The worst part is that the society has conditioned men to indulge in these things rather than be called weak or express sadness.
Therapy can help men accept their condition and let out their emotions but due to the masculine mindset they men need encouragement from their friend, partner or relatives.
Why Does It Happen
There are many reasons to be depressed. It may run in your family or a traumatic incident may have triggered it or it could be due to lack of happy chemicals like dopamine and serotonin in your brain or in some cases it could happen because of all these three reasons.
What Can Be Done
If you feel you’re depressed you should go to a doctor immediately. The doctor may advise you to change your existing medicine as meds can have bad side-effects too. After a round of tests and counseling sessions, the doctor may prescribe you therapy or anti-depressants or both, depending on your condition. But since everyone is different, medication may or may not work for you, therapy could be the best option for you.
But first have someone you can talk too, don’t let your feelings get to you. You should never shy away from expressing your feelings to someone, doing this will make you feel better and you may find it easy to deal with depression once you’re ready to talk about it. Dealing with depression can be tougher when you isolate yourself, speaking about your problems will help you figure out the way to beat your depression.