Depression in Men
Men often experience depression, but are often unaware of the causes or symptoms of depression. There is also the cultural and social idea that men should be in control of their emotions and that crying or having ‘sad feelings’ is not being masculine.
However, men have feelings just as women do and there’s no reason to feel bad about experiencing feelings of sadness and depression. So how do you know if you have depression? It’s important to recognize the signs and signals to determine if you might need help. When you have depression and you aren’t aware of it, you may experience some problematic symptoms.
Depression Symptoms in Men
Here are some of the signs and symptoms of men experiencing depression.
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- Headaches, back pain, or other joint pain.
- Acid reflux or other problems with digestion.
- Problems sleeping at night.
In addition, it’s not uncommon for physical problems to appear, such as sexual dysfunction.
- Anger – If you feel angry much of the time, you may actually be experiencing depression. Anger is often a bottled up emotion that isn’t being expressed in a healthy way. Eventually you can begin to build up so many feelings that you explode in rage. Anger can also be more subtle and be expressed as feeling irritated all the time or feeling criticized.
- Behavioral Changes – Depression can also cause behavioral changes for many men. For example, you might be more likely to take impulsive actions.
- Risky Behaviors – Men who have depression often engage in risky behaviors such as drinking too much, having unsafe sex with multiple partners, driving in a reckless manner, or other addictive behaviors that cause even more problems.
There are many reasons for depression, such as a major change in your life including marriage or divorce. Even happy changes can result in stress and depression. You might also be more at risk after the death of a loved one, chronic illness, financial stress, work stress, and of course there are many other factors.
Causes of Depression in Men
Medical conditions are often the culprit for causing depression in men. If you’re experiencing health problems, it can be natural and normal to have feelings of grief and sadness. It’s possible that not dealing with those feelings can cause them to become more intense and disabling.
One of the most common causes of depression in men is chronic illness. Chronic illness could be any illness that causes regular treatment and leads to a change in your lifestyle. For example, if you’ve become diabetic or have had a heart attack, you may be more at risk for depression.
Other similar conditions include stroke. After a stroke you may not regain the function that you once had. Losing your independence may lead to feelings of helplessness, depression, and isolation.
Cancer is another medical condition that can make a major change in your lifestyle and lead to feelings of depression. Not only are you dealing with the concern that your life may end earlier than you expected, the treatment for cancer can be another cause of depression.
Another problem that men often have to deal with is sexual dysfunction as I said before. This can be related to your heart health or other conditions, but regardless of the cause, men who have problems in this area are twice as likely to develop depression as other men, which is totally natural and understandable.
As you can see, this is an important area of health you shouldn’t ignore. Many men feel shame or embarrassment related to sexual dysfunction, but often sexual dysfunction is related to a physical issue and can be treated with great success. So don’t let it be a problem for you emotionally.
Injury or Disability
You might also experience depression as a result of an injury that has had a major impact on your lifestyle. For example, an injury that causes you to be reliant on a wheelchair or person can lead to feelings of sadness, grief and depression.
Chronic pain is also linked to depression. For example, if you have back pain and unable to get relief, you may find that the pain leads to feelings of depression and frustration.
Even getting older can cause depression in men…yes, it doesn’t just happen to women. You may feel you’ve lost your good looks or even your independence. You may even experience social isolation.
The good news is that if you’re experiencing physical problems there are often very helpful solutions. For example, if your feelings are related to a specific illness or injury you can often find support groups in your area where you can go and talk to others in the same situation. Being able to share your experience with people who understand can go a long way toward removing feelings of shame and isolation.
You can also seek professional treatment from a mental health professional to help you deal with feelings. In some cases, you may also be prescribed medications to assist with lifting your depression, however I prefer people to search for natural remedies for depression if possible!