Depression in Men: A Silent Killer


The rate of suicide due to depression is found more in men than women. Yet men still hesitate to see a doctor or seek help to combat depression. Depression is a serious medical condition and everyone, irrespective age, sex, ethnicity or social status is vulnerable to it.

About 6 million U.S. men are victims of depression every year, and there are three kinds of depression that may be troubling them. These include bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and dysthemic disorder. Here are some details on this problem that is often left untreated in men.

The Signs And Symptoms Of Depression

There are many signs and symptoms of this problem and it varies from man to man. The common ones are:

  • Feeling of hopelessness and pessimism for a long period.
  • “Empty moods” that stay for days.
  • Disinterest in things that the he used to enjoy before like sports. There is also a lack of interest in sex.
  • Feeling of fatigue all the time.
  • Not sleeping properly in night.
  • Sudden loss of appetite or weight.
  • Complain of persistent pain in head or neck or digestive problems that refuse to go.
  • Getting irritated over little things.

The problem with men is that, most often instead of acknowledging that they have a problem or that they are feeling depressed, they try to get out of it with alcohol or street drugs. That leads to problem in their home, relationship and work which plunge them into more depression! In fact, substance abuse often masks the symptoms of depression making it so hard to detect in a man. Many also try to plunge themselves into work more or try to get out of it by taking risks and putting themselves and their family’s future in jeopardy.

How To Treat It

First of all, the man concerned has to acknowledge that he is having a serious problem and that it is not “unmanly” to talk about his feelings. If you are close to such a person, you have to be very persistent and calm while dealing with him. The most helpful thing is to take him to counseling sessions, as these sessions are very helpful in treating most depressive cases. For those with more complicated problems of depression like bi-polar disorder, medication is prescribed. These treatments are not only helpful in reducing the level of depression in the person, but also help to combat future episodes of depression.

How Male Depression Differs From Female Depression

There is a marked difference on how the two sexes face depression. For example, while depressed women are more likely blame themselves for their present condition, men often blame others or feel like blaming themselves. Depressed women go to lengths to avoid conflicts, while depressed men seem to seek them. Such men need to be in control at any cost while women have trouble setting boundaries.

Depression is a treatable problem, but when left untreated, it can become a silent killer. It leads to other problems like stress or heart diseases and in many cases, suicide. So it is very important to be aware of it, especially for men, to get better and lead a healthy life.
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