Depression in Men: How Common Is That?

Back in late 1300s, the term “feeling blue” was devised. The use of “blue” was made as the color is closely related to “rain.” In Greek mythology, the god Zeus caused the rain whenever he cried. Since then the term began to be used as a symbolic to sadness. Sadness can take any form. It can be induced or self-developed. The existence of this term indicates that depression and downheartedness existed since the time immemorial. It can most appropriately be described as a persuasive mood disorder, in which the victim quickly transits between the states of extreme happiness and extreme sadness. However, the degree of seriousness varies from person to person.

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Root cause of depression

Although studies have mentioned that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in our brain, no single cause can be attributed enough to explain this mental condition. Rather, many other causes can be assigned to it. Faulty moods, genetic vulnerability, unhealthy lifestyle contribute to depression as well. In the 21st century, the number of cases of depression has soared up significantly. Mostly, tragic life events or loss of loved one is to be blamed for causing the mental imbalance.

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The popular actor who played the legendary role of “Joker” in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (2008) went into chronic depression and allegedly tried to commit suicide after his lady love Michelle Williams broke up with him. Heath ledger remains to be a single name in the never ending list of people who have succumbed to depression. However, depression is not grave enough to claim anyone’s life, but if left untreated, can coax someone to take a drastic step of killing themselves.

Depression: Men vs. Women

Research says that more than 6 million men in US suffer from clinical depression every year. Depression is more common in women than men. However, women are more likely to recover from their state of depression than men. Men are always represented as tough as old boots. They are supposed to endure pain more efficiently than the women population. Men, when dealing with the difficult mental situation, keep off from asking any kind of emotional support from the people around them. They remain under the impression that they should be resilient enough to take care of any situation. And this is the primary reason why men suffering from depression fail to get their ailment treated before it’s too late. They fail to acknowledge the fact that they too can fall prey to depression, and hence, avoid any medical assistance. The facts, to our surprise, says “men suffering from depression are more prone to attempt and get killed by suicide.” A survey conducted in Australia states that out of total suicides that took place in a year, 70% of it are committed by men.

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Depression is a serious condition, which doesn’t go off by its own. Unlike women, men don’t confess that they’re feeling low. They get irritable and angry instead. Men seem to be designed in a way that they fail to express their feeling, even with their partners. Another reason for men falling more seriously to depression is the clichéd thinking of the society that depression is a “women’s syndrome,” which was supposed to be caused by female hormonal imbalance. It is nothing more than a myth that has been incontestably accepted by the society. Depression is seen in both; however, the way of expressing it is based on sex. Women are more into the feeling thing, while men tend to hide their feelings, denying the sadness they are feeling. And this is the major reason men fall prey to alcohol and drug abuse. Symptoms for depression in men are not detectable as they are in women. If identified in time, depression is totally curable.

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How to know if a man is suffering from depression? Click here to know: Signs of Depression.

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Signs of Depression in Men

More than 5 million men in the United States alone face depression every year. Clinical depression is a serious medical condition that requires timely intervention and treatment. It not only causes health anomalies, but also hampers one’s interest in their day-to-day activities. Although symptoms of depression in men are similar to those in women, men tend to mask those symptoms with other things. Men talk more openly about the physical symptoms of depression like fatigue, headache, etc. But other symptoms continue to be buried deep down in their day-to-day routine.

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How to spot depression in men?

Fatigue: People who are depressed show withdrawal toward their routine life, thus reducing their productivity. Such people always find themselves exhausted and not willing to do anything until it is too urgent. They show no vigor and interest even in their most pleasurable activities like partying out with friends or going for fishing.

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Insomnia or hypersomnia: People suffering from depression have reported that they either find it difficult to get up early in the morning or find themselves sleeping until late. Some patients of depressions sleep for more than 12 hours a day while others have reported about not having slept properly for weeks. The loss of positive energy makes them lose robustness, and they remain tired even after sleeping for a complete day.

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Chronic stomach ache or backache: Health problems like backache and diarrhea can also be indicative to depression, but due to lack of awareness, people fail to relate these petty issues with some serious problem like depression. The mind is control unit of the whole body. Any disruption in the normal working of the brain will obviously affect the physical well-being of the body.

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Bad temper: Instead of talking low like women, men tend to respond to depression by losing their temper way too easily. They pick up fights at little things at home. If anything doesn’t go according to them, they get exasperated and react inappropriately. They often shoo away their closest of their friends, when they feel low. They get ultra-defensive and isolate themselves from almost everyone they know.

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Lack of concentration: Psychomotor retardation slows down a man’s ability to process things. Thereby, they’re not able to concentrate on a single thing in their work. Consequently, a decrease in their productivity can clearly be seen over time. Decreased productivity further drives them more toward depression. They begin to lose self-confidence and fall victim to low self-esteem.

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Hostility: Some men manifest depression by remaining hostile toward any situation. They develop pessimistic views about life and blame themselves for everything wrong that happens. They believe that they are not good enough to get anything done. Some even react by blaming and criticizing people around them way too much. As a result, they end up lonely, as their friends fail to realize the real cause behind it.

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Developing bad habits: Some men retort to depression by indulging themselves in destructive deeds like drugs, alcohol, gambling, unsafe sex, adultery, etc. They use these things to hush up their disturbed mental state. Instead of working it out, they opt for an escapist method.

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Sexual dysfunction: Some men lose interest in sex, while some try to escape their mental trauma by overdoing it. Most of the men suffering from depression have experienced erectile dysfunction, which reduces their desire to have sex with their partner. They develop an inferiority complex that they are unable to satisfy their partner physically.

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Suicidal thoughts: They often mention about death and their lack of interest in worldly things. Men tend to choose lethal methods for suicides which makes them more in number to die out of suicidal death. At the initial stages, they stop taking care of their health. They won’t be careful while crossing a busy road. These are some signs that’ve run out of all the self-love.

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Indecisiveness: Due to improper functioning of the mind, depressed men take very long to make any decisions. No matter how insignificant the matter is, they still find it very difficult to make a decision. Even If they make a decision, chances of them sticking to it is quite low.

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If you are going through these symptoms, then without any further delay consult your therapist. Mental illness doesn’t necessarily mean being insane. It’s completely sane for our mind to go off track for some amount of time. Take care and be happy!

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