Depression In Males: Symptoms, Causes And Treatment
Depression is a mental disorder that adversely affects a person’s ability to sleep, feel, eat and think properly. A person either suffers from the major depressive disorder also known as major depression or clinical depression. Depression can affect any male or female at any age. Some of the symptoms are the same in both sexes whereas sometimes both sexes experience different sets of symptoms. Though it is referred to as a “woman’s disease”, more men commit suicide due to this mood disorder across the globe as symptoms of depression usually go unnoticed in them. Let’s discuss this in detail by uncovering some of the common symptoms of depression in both sexes and in males particularly.
Symptoms Of Depression In Males
Some of the common symptoms of depression are feeling sad, low, losing enjoyment in pleasurable activities, weight changes or loss in appetite, too much or too little sleep, feeling tired or agitated, facing trouble in concentration, etc.
Men are more likely to experience the following list of symptoms:
- Losing interest in work, hobbies, and families
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Feeling angry, anxious and hopeless
- Feeling very tired
- Suicidal thoughts (most common)
- Somatic complaints like headaches, digestive problems, pains
- Becoming abusive in relationships
- Finding it hard to keep family responsibilities
- Drinking more than usual or taking drugs
- Avoiding social gatherings
Causes Of Depression In Males
One of the most common mental disorders in the United States, depression occurs in males due to a variety of factors. These factors are:
- Illness –.Sometimes, medications taken for treating certain medical conditions for a long duration may result in certain side effects and depression is one of the side effects of those medications. These medical conditions are diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or Parkinson’s disease. These conditions usually make depression worse and vice-versa.
- Genetic Factors – Males with a family history of depression are more likely to get affected by the condition than those who do not have a family history.
- Environmental Stress – The factors which are beyond the control of manpower like loss of loved ones, loss of job, financial problems, unsuccessful relationships, etc., result in stress and depression.
Why Depression Is Not Easily Recognizable In Males?
It is a social stigma that males tend to “be strong”. Due to this, male fraternity seldom accepts their feelings in the open and considers symptoms of depression as symptoms of stress. Moreover, it is believed that females are likely to express their feelings in a better manner if they feel sad, lonely, etc. Unlike males, they either weep or discuss their problems with friends or other family members. When a male suffers from depression, he either becomes aggressive or irritable. On the other hand, if a female suffers from it, she remains in a depressive mood. Due to this difference, often healthcare professionals fail to recognize depression problems in males.
Consequences Of Untreated Depression In Males
If symptoms of depression go unnoticed in males, seeking the right treatment seems to be a distant dream. And untreated depression usually has life-threatening consequences. Many reports claim that the likelihood of committing suicide rises significantly in males when depression goes unnoticed. Even females come across suicidal thoughts, but males actually end their lives.
Treatment Of Depression
Fortunately, it is a mental condition that is easy to treat if diagnosed early. There are different ways of treating depression. Moreover, every person responds in a different manner to a particular treatment, thus healthcare professionals play safe by using different approaches simultaneously to treat the condition. The treatment options are:
- Talk Therapy
- Lifestyle Changes
After analyzing the mental and physical condition of the patient, healthcare professionals usually recommend a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) and a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Both these medications are quite effective in treating depression. Some other recommended medications are atypical antidepressants, norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRI), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) and tricyclic ant-depressants.
Different people respond to medicines in different manners. For instance, some people experience certain side effects while others do not experience. In case of any side-effect, consultation with healthcare professionals on an immediate basis is mandatory. It is strictly advised not to stop taking the medication without consulting with a professional. It is because stopping the treatment suddenly may result in withdrawal-like symptoms and deteriorate the condition further.
Psychotherapy Or Talk Therapy
Psychotherapy is a condition in which a licensed medical health professional talks to the patient in a closed environment. The sessions of psychotherapy help in treating depression in the following manner:
- Developing strategies to cope with crises or stressful situations
- Identifying negative thoughts and issues contributing to depression
- Setting realistic goals
- Exploring relationship problems and building positive connections
Some of the most effective psychotherapy sessions in treating depression are:
- Interpersonal Talk Therapy – This kind of therapy is conducted in licensed therapy centers and is aimed at resolving interpersonal problems of patients along with asymptomatic recovery.
- Problem-Solving Therapy – Through this therapy, people get to know how to handle stressful situations in their lives in a better manner and keep negative feelings at bay.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy – This is one of the most common and effective therapies that work by replacing unproductive and negative thoughts with useful and realistic ones. This therapy focuses on using specific methods and tools for managing and reducing symptoms.
Along with other treatment, making small changes in lifestyle usually prove quite helpful in treating and managing symptoms of depression in males. These small changes come under coping strategies, which are as follows:
- Regular Physical Activity – Indulging in physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes a day produces endorphins, which actually lift a person’s mood. Therefore, health experts believe that a depressed person should remain physically active for a day.
- Creating a Definite Routine – Making a routine and sticking with it allows a depressed person to feel better.
- Yoga Or Meditation – To calm the senses or to reduce negative thoughts or stress, practicing yoga or meditation is very helpful.
- Talking To Family Members and Friends – Shed your inhibitions and try to share your feelings with your friends and family members. If a person loves penning down his thought, it even works wonderfully.
- Avoid Alcohol Intake – Consuming alcohol in such situations may not help in any way. So, reduce alcohol intake to improve mood.
In severe cases, do not make delays in hospitalizing the patient. Psychiatric care offered in hospitals definitely affects a person’s overall well-being in a positive manner.
Awareness Is Important
It is easy to recognize symptoms of depression in others rather than in yourself. So, if any person in a family notices that his brother or father is showing symptoms of depression, it is vital to discuss this thing on an immediate basis with him. Try to be a good listener at this point in time so that a depressed person can speak his heart out. Maintain a nonjudgmental attitude and do not pinpoint his mistakes. Next, encourage and support him to seek an appointment with a healthcare professional. Assure him that feeling depressed or sad in no manner is related to physical or mental weakness. It is a condition that can happen or affect anybody be it male or female. Once he visits a healthcare professional, support him and keep reminding him he will definitely sail through this tough period also.
The symptoms of depression vary greatly in males and females. Compared to males, men are likely to feel irritated and vent their anger on small things. He even becomes abusive in relationships, alcohol addicted, and tends to commit suicide also. Recognizing these symptoms and seeking medical treatment is important to fight this condition. Depression is easy to treat with a combination of strategies like taking medicines, attending talk therapy sessions, and making some changes in the daily routine.
Similar read : Fight Depression With A Healthy And Nutritious Diet
Disclaimer: It is to notify you that this article contains information for general purposes only; do not consider it as a piece of professional medical advice. In case of any health problem, consultation with an experienced health professional is inevitable.