Men and mental health issues such as stress and depression aren’t often talked about, but it is a very real occurrence. While women tend to outwardly express their feelings more, men are more logical and tend to keep things in. Men may suffer from depression but be reserved in expressing their feelings. It may take longer to catch on.
As parents, emotional highs and lows come with the territory. In the process of making sure that your children are adequately cared for you can experience periods of stress, anxiety, and even sadness. The key to getting men back on their feet is:
- recognizing there is a problem
- find a support network
- and getting help
Signs of Depression in Men
Men often experience depression in different ways then women, which can at times make it difficult for you to realize they are going through something. Because men are more likely than women to brush their feelings to the side, it can be hard to tell when “low” periods are something serious. Pay attention as much as possible to the men in your life. They may experience your typical signs of depression such as loss in interest of daily activities, periods of sadness, and distance.
However, other signs of depression in men might include a change in mood becoming overly aggressive or irritable. They may even submerge themselves in work and rely heavily on substances such as pain killers, alcohol, or drugs to mask their feelings.
What Triggers Depression
There are several reasons in which men may become depressed including biological, psychological, and social factors. Other issues might include lifestyle choices, relationship difficulties, and overwhelming amounts of stress. Some common triggers for depression might include:
· Stress at home or in the workplace
· Marriage troubles
· Losing a job
· Leaving or coming home from military service
· Financial issues
· Health complications
· Death of a loved one
· Too many responsibilities
Sometimes knowing the cause of the problem can help you in finding a solution that will work best for the man in your life.
Treatments for Depression
Men may try and hide the emotions of depression as they feel “less of a man” if they show they’re sad. Ultimately pinpointing depression and knowing when to get help might be a bit of a challenge. However, once the problem has been brought to the light there are several avenues that can help to treat depression. Some of those avenues include making lifestyle changes, getting social support from others, seeking therapy, or even considering a rehab program that offers dual diagnosis for men (in the event that he has begun to rely heavily on drugs and alcohol to cope).
Tips for Talking Depressed Men
No man likes to hear the words, “we need to talk”, but it is imperative that you reach out and let them know that you are concerned about their well being. Before approaching him, it is best that you first educate yourself on depression in men so that you are armed with facts and not simply throwing a bunch of emotions at him. Below are a few more tips you want to keep in mind when talking about their depression:
· Talk one on one – have a one on one conversation at a time where there are no distractions around. This will allow him to feel more comfortable in opening up to you.
· Talk about what you’ve learned – Remember, try to keep the emotion out of it as much as possible. While it may be tempting to cry or express an abundance of feelings about how you feel this can often work against you. Instead, provide the facts about depression in men. This will help him to understand the severity of this mental illness and also show him that he is not alone.
· Suggest a Healthcare Visit – Suggest a healthcare visit with their doctor. This will rule out any medical issues that could be causing depression, and it will also give you a valuable resource for finding a therapist or rehab facility to help treat depression.
· Understand that it’s his choice – You cannot force anyone to get help as much as you want to see him doing better. All you can do is voice your concerns, educate him on what you’ve learned and offer support through the treatment process. When he is ready for help he will ultimately make the decision on which route to take.
Men go through a lot more than they may ever be willing to admit. The male ego is essentially very fragile and anything in life can trigger depression. From not feeling like he’s providing enough to having too many responsibilities at work, there are a lot of reasons he may be feeling out of sorts. You can offer your love and support in helping him to get through these difficult times. Part of doing that means recognizing that there’s something wrong, educating yourself, and lastly talking to him. Through hard work and support he can eventually overcome his depression and get back to living a fun, purpose filled life.