Men are supposed to be strong and in control of their emotions. They are made to believe that they can’t break down, that they can’t ever cry and that they should stand strong and tall under any adversity. But isn’t it only human to feel sad, overwhelmed or dejected at some or other point in our lives? Why should men be denied these feelings?
If you ask me – I think it is alright to feel hopeless or to break down occasionally – even if you are a man. Men don’t have to try to be tough all the time. Men will continue to be the rock stars that they are in spite of it all!
It is normal to feel low or sad in response to life’s set backs or the unpleasant events that are bound to come in one’s life. But if you feel low or down-in-the dumps often and the feeling is intense and unrelenting you could be suffering from depression. Depression affects millions of men of all ages and backgrounds and the symptoms of depression are very different from that in women. Read more about it below:
Symptoms of Depression:
Men are different from women. They find it difficult to talk about their feelings and emotions so the symptoms of depression in men are different from those in women. Women suffering from depression are more likely to come down with symptoms like sadness, hopelessness and anxiety; men on the other hand experience different kind of symptoms:
Weariness, fatigue, tiredness or exhaustion is often the most common manifestation of depression in men. Feelings as if the entire system has slowed down – decreased physical movements, slowing of speech and thought process are often observed in men with Depression.
Change in Sleep Pattern
Along with fatigue, they also start experiencing sleep disturbances. While some may claim that they are always sleepy and drowsy in spite of a good night’s sleep, there may be some men who experience lack of sleep or complete absence of sleep.
Aches and pains
Most men complain of unexplained aches and pains in the body with no significant abnormality. The most common being backache and pain in the calves. Some men experience headaches or stomachache with gastric disturbances like constipation or diarrhea. Chronic long-standing pains and digestive disturbances when present together should not be ignored as they almost always indicate underlying depression.
Men who suffer from depression often complain of increased irritability or crankiness. They become extremely sensitive to criticism, lose their sense of humor, become abusive and may indulge in road rage. Out of the emotional sphere, irritability is the most commonly experienced symptom in men with depression.
Anger and Hostility
Along with irritability, men also tend to experience episodes of sudden rage, anger or hostility. Anger is often used to manifest power or control over the situation especially when they begin to realize that things are going out of control.
Often to cope up with the baggage of unusual emotions or the stress that accompanies depression, men end up drinking or smoking up in a bid to drown their unpleasant feelings.. Alcohol, smoking and drugs are used as a strategy to mask the feelings of despair and hopelessness.
Altered concentration and decreased productivity at work
Decreased concentration at work is one of the symptoms of depression in men. They experience a sluggish thought process and a decreased concentration at work and it often affects their performance. Decreased performance is not only restricted to men with jobs involving mind and intelligence, it is also seen in men involved in work associated with manual labor.
Men suffering from depression experience a change in libido – often decreased libido. They may also complain of performance problems like erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation. And this is a vicious cycle, though these symptoms are a result of depression, they push them further in to depression.
Men suffering from depression are four times more likely to commit suicide than women. Feelings of worthlessness and of being no good can push men to start getting negative thoughts and thoughts of self-harm. That is why it is important for a man to seek help before their feelings of despair get the better of them.
Recovering from depression requires action, but taking action when you are down and out can be a daunting task. Take help and support from your family and friends. Consult a professional if required. If you seek appropriate help on time one can come out of depression and live a normal life like before.
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