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Under the Lens | Depression in Men

Counseling for an emotional crisis,counseling for men’s issues,depression in men,men’s counseling for depression with Carolina Counseling Services North Fayetteville Office Fayetteville NC

Under the Lens | Depression in Men

 

Men have generally been thought to be the stronger gender, remaining detached from emotional hurt, anguish, and other weaknesses. These days, this perception is considered outdated. While men may be physically stronger than their female counterparts, they are not immune from emotional upheavals, depression included.

Statistics are revealing that though there are more female struggling with it, the number of men languishing with the steely grips of depression is similarly staggering. There could be more who are silent about how they feel for fear that they may be labeled as weak or less of a man. “Bottling up” the emotions won’t help you or a loved one with depression.

How can you free yourself from depression? Or, how can you help a loved one from being squashed by the powerful emotions that come along with depression? HELP is a big word in battling “the blues.”  You can help yourself or a loved one by understanding the condition. You must also find professional help, so the condition can be treated.

 

What the Figures Tell Us

“… more than 6 million men struggle with depression on any given day…,” says a recent Men’s Health article (May 2018). If this stat is not alarming enough, consider the following data about depression in men:

 

  • One out of every five men will develop alcohol dependency during his life to cope with depression and anxiety.
  • More than 90% of those diagnosed with Schizophrenia by age 30 are men.
  • An estimated 10 million men have an eating disorder.

 

The list goes on.

 

You might wonder, is the statistic climbing, or is this generation witnessing a hard-to-ignore spike in depression among males of all ages? The truth is that, depression in men is not as staggering as in women, but the figures on suicide paints a petrifying scenario. Psychology Todays shares these:

 

  • Male suicide is rising at such an alarming rate that it has been classified as a silent epidemic.
  • Men are four times more likely than women to commit suicide.
  • Suicide is now the second most common cause of death among men from age 10 to 39.
  • A staggering 75% – 80% of all U.S “completed” suicides are men.
  • Women are more likely to “attempt” suicide, but men are more likely to complete the act and that is largely due to the violent manner in which men choose to end their lives (firearms).
  • Men are less likely to openly exhibit warning signs or discuss suicidal ideations and thoughts with others even with those that we know and trust.

 

The likelihood of having a tendency toward suicide is always greater during a major episode for both males and females. Research reveals, though, that this is more frequently occurring, more successful and more violent among men. Psycom says, “Although women with depression are more likely to attempt suicide, men are more likely to die by suicide.”

Facts to Ponder

Men are vulnerable to depression too. Though more women struggle with “the blues,” the statistic that says “one in eight men experience it at some stage of their life” is no trivial matter. It can affect them at any age and condition. A man’s vulnerability, just like a woman’s, can be determined or influenced by a number of factors. These include their genetic predisposition, stressful life situation or living conditions, work challenges, financial troubles, major life transitions, a serious illness, relationship issues, etc.

Growing up with the teaching that being emotional is feminine, you will likely keep your emotions bottled up. You may likely believe that the male gender is one to rely on, the family’s anchor, or the fortress, and the protector of your loved ones from all threats. So, you are likely to hide your symptoms of depression and the other signs of weakness, such as feeling sad, tired/lethargic, or burnt-out. Therefore, your depressive symptoms tend to be physical. Feeling sad and lethargic, you may lose interest in many things.

Unlike women, men are not typically enthusiastic about talking or exposing their feelings. Not wanting to show weakness, you may eventually vent your feelings in the form of anger or other aggressive, even violent, behaviors or manifestations. A significant number use alcohol and drugs to distract their attention from the symptoms. Unable to express their emotions openly, the conditions can have physical manifestations – increased heart rate, heaviness in the chest, digestive issues, and constant headaches. Do you have anxiety? Know that anxiety can result in depression in men being worse.

 

The Signs and Symptoms

Clinical depression is an emotional condition with severe symptoms. Whatever your gender, it can impact your emotions, thoughts, and the way you live on a day to day basis. There are common signs and symptoms, such as sadness, lethargy, poor concentration, sleeplessness, and loss of interest in things or people that used to be very important to you. To be diagnosed with a major depressive condition, a man must have symptoms for at least two weeks, just like the criteria for women. There can be some signs and symptoms, though, that are unique to men.

What are the signs and symptoms of depression in men? According to Helpguide, “The three most commonly overlooked signs of depression in men are: physical pain, anger and reckless behavior.” The physical pain includes headaches, backache, digestive issues, sleeplessness, and sexual dysfunction. Anger ranges from sensitivity, loss of sense of humor, bossy and demanding behavior, and irritability, as well as road rage and viciousness. To escape the impact of the depression symptoms, there are men who pursue wild and irresponsible activities.

 

The National Institute for the Mental Health also shares other common depression symptoms in men, such as:

 

  • Feeling anxious, restless, or “on the edge”
  • Loss of interest in work, family, or once-pleasurable activities
  • Loss of desire for intimacy
  • Feeling sad, “empty,” flat, or hopeless
  • Not being able to concentrate or remember details
  • Feeling very tired, not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much
  • Overeating or not wanting to eat at all
  • Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
  • Inability to meet the responsibilities of work, caring for family, or other important activities
  • Engaging in high-risk activities
  • Withdrawing from family and friends or becoming isolated

 

Surviving the Feeling of Shame

Despite the extensive acceptance of depression as a treatable emotional condition and the fact that it is not a reflection of a flaw or weakness in character, those that are depressed still feel inferior and shamed, especially men. Phrases, such as “toughen up,” “man up,” and “be strong” are not encouragements. Depression is not a choice. You do not choose it…. it chooses you.

Depression is a silent predator that slays, not only women, but men as well, in all walks of life. It conceals itself in guises that are not easy to recognize. Unfortunately, depression cannot be hidden all the time. The signs and symptoms will reveal itself. Hopelessness should not be a recourse because the condition is treatable. Treatment is within reach. You can be diagnosed and treated by a proficient therapist independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – North Fayetteville Office – Fayetteville, NC.

You cannot always be a hundred percent strong with a grip on your emotions. No man can conquer everything on his own all the time, especially depression. If you were taught that a man is not supposed to show weakness, wake up! It is an unrealistic idea that is generating a false sense of self-reliance. If you wish to overcome depression, stop bottling up your emotions. Instead, release it. Therapy can help you talk about your concerns and help you feel better. Reach out. Make a call to CCS – North Fayetteville Office – Fayetteville, NC for help today.

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services

Counties: Cumberland, Bladen and Sampson Counties, NC
Areas: Fayetteville NC, Ft Bragg NC, Pope Field NC, Sliver City NC, Linden NC, Autryville NC, Bunnlevel NC, Erwin NC, Dundarrach NC, Rex NC,and Wade, NC
Zip Codes: 28311, 28395, 28390, 28356

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Carolina Counseling Services – North Fayetteville Office, Fayetteville, NC

422 McArthur Road, Suite 2
FayettevilleNC 28311

Choose your Therapist

  • Shnika Davis LCSW, LCAS-A

    Specializes in: (Ages 6+) Depression, Substance Abuse, Life transitions, Grief and Loss, Trauma, Anxiety, Adjustment Disorders, Family, Couples and Marriage
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Fayetteville, NC
  • Becky Clark, MSW, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Anxiety, Depression, Individuals, Couples, Geriatrics, Criminal Justice, Stress Management, Loss and Grief related to death, disability, divorce, deployment, “empty nest”, retirement and other major life transitions
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare, and Cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Fayetteville, NC