Men like to think of themselves as dominant and in charge of their emotions. If we are hopeless or overcome by depression, we often reject or attempt to mask our feelings. However, depression is a common issue that all of us will face at some stage in our lives, and it is not a sign of mental vulnerability or a masculinity flaw.
Millions of men of all ages and backgrounds, as well as those who care for them—spouses, partners, friends, and family—are affected by depression. Of course, everybody experiences low moods from time to time. Losses, losses, and disappointments in life are common causes of mood swings. Male depression, on the other hand, affects the way you think, act, and work in your everyday life. It can affect your relationships, sleep, diet, and overall enjoyment of life, as well as your productivity at work or school. Extreme depression can be overwhelming and unforgiving.
Unfortunately, since many of us find it difficult to speak about our emotions, depression in men is often ignored. Instead, we prefer to concentrate on the physical symptoms that often accompany male depression, such as back pain, headaches, insomnia, and sexual issues. This can lead to the untreated underlying depression, which can have severe consequences.
Men who suffer from depression are four times more likely than women to commit suicide, so it's important to seek treatment before feelings of sadness turn into thoughts of suicide. Speak to a trusted friend, family member, or doctor about what's going on with your mind and body. When you've been properly diagnosed, there's a lot you can do to effectively handle and control male depression and keep it from returning.
Men are less adept than women at identifying depressive symptoms. A man is more likely to reject, conceal, or attempt to obscure his feelings from himself and others. Men are more likely than women to experience “stealth” depression symptoms such as frustration, drug abuse, and agitation, as well as classic depression symptoms such as despondent mood, lack of interest in work or activities, weight and sleep disturbances, fatigue, and concentration issues.
The following are the three most common symptoms of depression in men:
Physical pain. Physical signs of depression in men may include backache, recurrent headaches, sleep issues, sexual dysfunction, and digestive disorders that do not lead to standard care.
Angry. It may be anything from irritability, sensitivity to criticism, or a lack of humor to road rage, a fast temper, or even aggression. Some men become obnoxious or domineering.
Unpredictable conduct. A depressed man may participate in escapist or risky actions, such as participating in dangerous sports, driving recklessly, or having unprotected sex. You may be a binge drinker, a heroin addict, or a compulsive gambler.
Depression in men is caused by a number of causes. Lifestyle decisions, relationships, and coping strategies all play a role, as do biological, psychological, and social influences.
Although any man may be depressed, there are certain risk factors that place him at a higher risk, such as:
Loneliness and a lack of social support are two problems that many people face.
Inability to cope with stress sufficiently
Usage of alcohol or narcotics in the past
Early childhood violence or trauma
Isolated aging and few social channels
Don't try to get through depression by yourself. It takes bravery to ask for support, whether from a friend or a specialist. Self-help techniques such as finding social support, exercising, eating a balanced diet, and making other lifestyle changes work well for most men with depression.
However, don't expect the mood to change overnight. Each day, you'll most likely feel a little better. Many men who are healing from depression report changes in their sleep habits and appetite until their mood improves. However, these self-help methods may have a huge influence on how you think and feel, allowing you to conquer depressive symptoms and recover your enjoyment of life.
Seek social support
Work obligations can make it difficult for men to sustain friendships, but finding people with whom you can genuinely interact face-to-face is the first step toward overcoming male depression. That doesn't just mean messing around with a coworker or talking about sports with the man in the bar next to you. It involves having someone with whom you can open up and express your thoughts, someone who will listen to you without criticizing you or asking you how to think or feel.
You may believe that talking about your feelings isn't macho, but whether you know it or not, you're still expressing your feelings to everyone around you; you're just not saying anything. Those nearest to you will note whether you're short-tempered, drinking more than normal, or punching holes in the wall. Instead, talking about what you're going through might help make you feel better.
Support your own health
Positive lifestyle changes can assist in the alleviation of depression and the prevention of recurrence.
Aim for at least eight hours of sleep each night. Sleep disorders are normal in depression; if you sleep too little or too much, your mood suffers. Learn safe sleep patterns and get on a healthier sleep schedule.
Maintain a reasonable level of tension. Stress not only prolongs and worsens depression, but it may also initiate it. Find ways to ease the pressure and regain power by recognizing all of the things in your life that are causing you stress, such as job overload, financial issues, or unsupportive relationships.
Relaxation methods should be mastered. A daily relaxation routine can help alleviate depressive symptoms, relieve stress, and improve feelings of satisfaction and well-being. Yoga, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and meditation are all good choices.
Spend time in the heat. Going outside during the day and exposing yourself to the sun will help you raise serotonin levels and boost your mood. Take a stroll, drink your coffee outside, do some yard work, or workout outside and enjoy the benefits twice as well. If you live in an environment where the winter sun is scarce, consider using a light therapy box.
Exercise is beneficial to both mental and physical health.
Getting out of bed, let alone working out, can be a challenging job when you're sad. Exercise, on the other hand, is a strong antidepressant and one of the most important tools in your rehabilitation arsenal. Regular exercise has been shown in research to be just as effective as treatment in managing depressive symptoms. It also assists in the prevention of relapse after you've recovered.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise a day to reap the most benefits. It's not important to do all at once, and it's fine to start tiny. A 10-minute walk will lift your spirits for up to two hours.
Boost the attitude by eating a nutritious diet.
The food you consume has a direct effect on how you feel.
Sugar and processed carbs should be kept to a minimum. Sugary snacks, baked goods, and comfort foods like pasta or French fries can appeal to you, but these “feel-good” foods can quickly deplete your mood and energy.
Reduce the consumption of foods that can make you feel bad, like caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, and foods rich in chemical preservatives or hormones.
Increase your intake of Omega-3 fatty acids to enhance your mood. Fatty fish (salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines), seaweed, flaxseed, and walnuts are the best sources.
Bananas (magnesium to reduce anxiety, vitamin B6 to promote alertness, tryptophan to raise feel-good serotonin levels) and spinach (magnesium to reduce anxiety, vitamin B6 to promote alertness, tryptophan to boost feel-good serotonin levels) are two foods high in mood-enhancing nutrients (magnesium, folate to reduce agitation and improve sleep).
Avoid B vitamin deficiency, which may lead to depression. More citrus fruits, leafy greens, beans, chicken, and eggs should be eaten.
Negative thinking should be challenged.
Do you ever feel vulnerable or powerless? The bad things happen and you have no influence over them? Is it true that your condition is hopeless? All, including how you see yourself and your hopes for the future, takes on a pessimistic tone when you're depressed.
It's important to note that these kinds of thoughts are a sign of depression, and that these irrational, depressive attitudes—also known as cognitive distortions—aren't true. When you look at them closely, they don't hold up. Nonetheless, they can be difficult to give up.
You won't be able to break free from your negative attitude by asking yourself to "just think positive." It's always part of a lifelong pattern of thought that has become so automatic that you aren't even aware of it. Rather, the key is to recognize the negative thoughts that are triggering your depression and replace them with a more balanced mentality.