Depression and Men

Did you know that over three million men in the United States suffer from depression? Depression in males, unlikely to be heard of. Why? The male image is one of being strong and "the rock", "the glue" that holds the family together. A man can suffer from depression and not be any less of a man. However, most men hide their depression by trying to cover their feelings up. They will cover up their depression with drugs, alcohol, sex, and work. Depression shows in men not as helpless or hopeless, but as angry, frustrated, and other aggressive feelings. Men are less likely to seek treatment than women and they are less likely to admit that they have a problem. Support by family and friends can still make a difference. Men and their depression are more like a secret. Men hide their feelings because depression makes men feel inadequate, abnormal or less of a man. That's why many mothers or wives will say they never expected their loved one to committee suicide. Depression and men are a silent battle that barely makes a rumble until the battle is over. The drugs and the smiles and the carrying on and acting hide many of the typical signs of depression from showing. It's hard to pick up on the signs of depression if you are close to the person, and it's harder if they are trying to cover them up. It's not abnormal to be shocked from their actions. However, you can help them seek treatment. If you notice that a loved one is showing any of the typical depression signs like oversleeping or not sleeping, tension/stressed, or uncontrollable anger (in the case of men) you should address the topic, but letting the person know that you care about them and that you are ready to listen to them when they are ready to talk. Don't push the issue or it may worsen things, but by saying I love you or I miss you, or I'm proud of you, it may mean the world to them. It may just be the reason why they seek help for their issues.

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