While it affects both men and women, the symptoms of this illness can vary a little depending on gender.
María Adelaida Arboleda, Psychiatrist, practitioner at Coomeva Private Healthcare.
Many times men do not recognize that they suffer from depression and avoid seeking help from a specialist to treat this condition. Based on beliefs and culture, the perspective they have of life requires them to be strong individuals that cannot succumb to this illness. They come off reluctant to discuss their feelings and what bothers them.
Depression among men, however, is a reality; a condition that can affect them no matter what age they are. It is treatable, however, and can be cured. Someone with depression appears to be sad, irritable, can have difficulty sleeping and may experience a loss of interest. This behavior can be much more strong and notable in men than in women.
“Men with depression tend to feel a hole in their lives; they feel desperate and anxious. Their behavior demonstrates that they are very tired and they may even lose interest in sexual activity,” explains the psychiatrist, María Adelaida Arboleda.
Some of the other symptoms that occur among men who are depressed include difficulty concentrating or remembering things, a reduced appetite or loss of appetite, suicidal thoughts, headaches, stomach cramps and digestive problems.
Several different factors can cause men to suffer from depression. Family history is a key determinant in the development of this condition. Those with a family history are more likely to experience this illness than those who have families in which no indications of depression have been detected.
Stress is also a determining factor in the development of this condition. It can be caused due to the loss of a loved one, work problems, or due to the end of a loving relationship, among many other situations that affect men and make them face their emotions and feelings.
Depression is often caused by a combination of these factors which should be analyzed and treated by a mental health specialist, who will help the patient accept that they are suffering from depression and that they need help to treat it.
Accept it in Order to Treat it
“The step of acceptance is very complicated with these types of patients, as many of them are embarrassed or insist that it is temporary. Once they get over this phase, treatment depends a lot on their commitment and on getting good support,” adds the psychiatrist, María Adelaida Arboleda.
There are several ways to manage this condition. For certain types of depression, some types of therapy are more efficient than medication. For others, the opposite is true. Therapy, for example, teaches the patient healthy practices and new ways of thinking and expressing themselves. It is important for this to be determined by a specialist.
If depression is not treated, there are a range of associated risks and consequences that exist, such as the loss of one’s life. This illness is even related to developing addictions and coronary and gastrointestinal diseases. So pay attention to the symptoms and allow yourself the guidance of a specialist if necessary.
A state of intense sadness
in which there is a loss of interest in the activities that used to be enjoyable is part of the symptoms of this illness.
Let the symptoms do the talking
The National Institute of Mental Health in the U.S. provides a list of behaviors that may suggest depression:
- They tend to feel more tired and irritable and lose interest in their work, family or hobbies
- They may be reluctant to talk #about how they feel
- It is difficult for them to concentrate #or remember details
- They cannot sleep or they sleep a lot
- They eat too much or do not eat #at all
- They have pain or discomfort: headaches, stomach cramps or digestive problems
- They feel they are incapable of meeting their responsibilities at work, #taking care of their family or of doing other important #activities
Family can be a support
- If the man that is depressed is a loved one or close friend, offer them support and understanding in order to try and improve their emotional state and self-confidence. This can help their treatment be more integral and efficient.
- Listen and have discussions with him. Be aware of any comments that express a desire to hurt himself.
- Take him out to play sports, share a meal or go on a trip. Create spaces of trust to analyze the situation calmly and propose analysis from different perspectives.
- Demonstrate your approval of him getting treatment from a specialist