Poor Mental Health

Poor Mental Health

Is Depression one of the last great taboos? Depression is a common condition in men.

The law of averages would say that a fair few who are reading this are, have or will suffer from depression at one time or another. And you probably know someone who has it or has had it. They might not have told you but it is very real to them.

As men we seem to be pre-programmed to dismiss an illness like this as some sort of weakness or failing in our manhood. You know the sort of thing… Stand up, be a man, men are tough, don’t show any weakness etc. These misconceptions prevent so many men from seeking help for their depression. But there is NO reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed to let people know that you are suffering. You don’t have to tell everyone, but DO tell someone you trust – a friend, partner or a doctor. Once you have told someone you will never suffer alone. There is plenty you can do to successfully treat and manage depression.

Signs of Depression in Men

Depression in men often doesn’t look like the typical depression of low mood and anxiety.

  • Men can become more irritable or angry.
  • Behaviour can be hostile, aggressive or even abusive.
  • Engage in risky activities, such as drunk driving or risky sexual encounters, abusing alcohol or drugs.
  • Men may also become over-involved at work or socially isolated.

If you have intense feelings of despair and hopelessness which interfere with work, family, and your ability to enjoy life, you may be suffering from depression.

Men aren’t always good about discussing their feelings, especially when it comes to sadness, depression or stress. Men instead act out with more work, drinking, and risk taking to numb or avoid the real problems they face. To many men, being “manly” means not admitting to any vulnerabilities or expressing emotions.

Warning Signs of Suicide

These include:

  • Always talking or thinking about death
  • Deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating
  • Having a “death wish”, tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death, such as driving fast or running red lights
  • Losing interest in things one used to care about
  • Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless
  • Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will
  • Saying things like “It would be better if I wasn’t here” or “I want out”
  • Sudden, unexpected switch from being very sad to being very calm or appearing to be happy
  • Talking about suicide or killing one’s self
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye