Everybody goes through trials and tribulations in their life. If anybody tells you they are always happy, it’s safe to say they’re not being honest. Depression affects everybody differently. In fact, men and women experience depression in different ways.
Too many men who struggle with depression go undiagnosed. While men are diagnosed with depression at half the rate of women, their suicide rate is three to four times more frequent. Although there is no set-in-stone correlation between suicide and depression, depression is one of suicide’s most significant risk factors. That’s why it’s crucial for men to get help.
The Negative Effects of the Mental Health Stigma
Are you a man who feels like depression therapy is a sign of weakness? Perhaps you think seeking help makes you less capable or less of a man. Do you worry that your friends and family will think of you as weak if you seek depression treatment?
Unfortunately, society places a negative stigma on mental health issues, making it hard for you to swallow your pride and get the help you need.
You may believe that a man should stand on his own two without the support of someone else. Maybe you feel that society puts you down for reaching out for help. Or you are afraid of being judged for being depressed and seeking help through depression therapy or treatment.
One of the main issues you face as a man struggling with depression revolves around gendered processes and socialization. Because of the beliefs that society has put on you, you are hesitant to get the necessary depression treatment.
Depression in Men: The Warning Signs
Do you feel irritable, withdrawn, or isolated? Perhaps you spend too much time drinking or working long hours when you don’t have to. These unhealthy coping strategies could be warning signs that you’re struggling with male depression.
On top of struggling with depression, you may be undiagnosed. You may not be of the symptoms of depression in men, so you don’t even realize you’re depressed. You may also be undiagnosed because you feel reaching out for depression therapy is not an option.
But reaching out for help is the best way to combat the illness. And it’s most certainly not a sign of weakness. Oh the contrary, it shows strength to ask others for help.
Depression Symptoms in Men and Women
Several factors likely involve the difference in depression in men and depression in women. These factors include hormones, brain chemistry, and life experiences.
Signs and symptoms of depression experienced by both men and women include the following:
- poor sleep schedule – having difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- sadness, emptiness, and hopelessness
- lack of pleasure from activities you usually enjoy
- alcohol or drug abuse
Symptoms of male depression include the following:
- physical issues such as headaches, pain, or digestive problems
- escapist behavior – spending an excessive amount of time on sports or work
- lack of emotional control – inappropriate anger or irritability
- risky behavior – such as reckless driving or driving under the influence
- controlling, abusive, or violent behavior.
These may be signs you are suffering from depression. Finding professional help through depression therapy in San Diego or wherever you’re located is vital. The first step in receiving the necessary treatment is to take a leap of faith and believe getting help can relieve your symptoms and allow you to live a more fulfilling life.
related post: Depression and Empathy: How One Affects the Other
Understanding the symptoms of male depression is one thing. But even if you recognize you have depression, as a man, you’re less likely to seek treatment. That means you go undiagnosed.
The reasons you may not seek treatment for male depression include the following:
- Failure to recognize male depression: You may think feeling emotional and sad is always a top symptom of male depression. But for many men, that isn’t the case. Physical symptoms could also indicate male depression. These include headaches, tiredness, digestive problems, and long-term pain can sometimes indicate depression in men. Isolation and seeking distractions to deal with relationships and emotions are also red flags that could indicate depression.
- Downplaying symptoms: You may not recognize how much symptoms affect you. Or you may not want to admit to anyone or yourself that you are experiencing male depression. Ignoring, masking, and suppressing depression with unhealthy habits such as drug and alcohol abuse will only worsen the negative symptoms you are experiencing.
- Reluctance to discuss symptoms of depression: You may not be willing to open up to your family and friends about your feelings and experiences. Like many men, you may have learned to practice self-control and discipline. You may think it doesn’t reflect manliness to express emotions and feelings associated with depression, which may cause you to suppress them.
- Resistance to receiving depression treatment: You may be resistant to depression treatment. You may avoid reaching out for help because you’re worried about the negative stigma regarding depression. Or perhaps you think male depression could damage your career or cause your friends and family to lose respect for you.
related post: How to Establish Healthy Sleep Patterns With Depression
Depression in Men and Women: A Comparison
There are emotional, behavioral, and physical symptoms of depression in both men and women.
When men are depressed, they usually feel emotions such as restlessness, irritability, and anger. When women experience depression, they feel a sense of guilt, hopelessness, mood swings, and a lack of joy.
Women tend to engage in behaviors such as excessive crying, decreased appetite, and attempts at suicide. Male depression is quite different. As a man suffering from depression, typically, you would make rash decisions that affect your health, such as excessive alcohol and drug abuse, risky behavior such as reckless driving, and ultimately, suicide completion, not attempt.
Last, but most certainly not least, are the physical symptoms associated with depression. Depression in men causes tightness in the chest, digestive issues, low testosterone, heart palpitations, and erectile dysfunction, as well as other sexual dysfunction issues. Women, on the other hand, have different physical symptoms of depression. Women tend to experience heartaches, feelings of weakness, fatigue, exhaustion, and tenderness and sensitivity in the breasts.
Coping Mechanisms in Men and Women
Male depression and coping skills differ from those of women. Depression treatment, including psychotherapy with a mental health professional, can aid you in learning how to better cope with your depression.
Some healthier coping skills for managing your depression include the following:
- Seek support: Seek emotional help from friends, family, or your partner. Make connections so you can invest time in getting involved with social activities.
- Set goals: Set realistic goals and prioritize your time and tasks.
- Rethink major decisions: It’s a good idea to avoid making important decisions, such as changing career paths, until your depression symptoms improve.
- Practice mindfulness and meditation: Healthy stress management practices mindfulness and meditation can help you better manage your emotions and promote feelings of calm and relaxation
- Participate in hobbies and activities: Participating in things you enjoy is an excellent way to promote emotional well-being. Although it can be challenging when you have depression, try focusing on at least committing to one activity per week that brings you joy.
- Focus on your physical health: Try to prioritize exercise and proper nutrition. This will give you healthy lifestyle choices that will benefit your physical and mental well-being.
Help is available. Don’t try to “tough it out.” Male depression requires proper depression treatment. The consequences of not taking action could be devastating.
BOLD Health: Top-Notch Depression Treatment in San Diego
At BOLD Health, we provide many types of depression therapy in San Diego for several mental health concerns. We are here to help you every step of the way, no matter the severity level or how long you’ve suffered with symptoms.
Our highly qualified team of clinicians focuses on helping you navigate through your symptoms and will curate the best possible depression treatment tailored to your needs.
Our options for depression treatment in San Diego include the following:
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Individual therapy
- Online therapy
If you feel that depression therapy in San Diego isn’t enough, we at BOLD Health also are fully equipped to provide you with the following:
- Medication management
- Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP in San Diego)
- Ketamine Treatment for depression
At BOLD Health, we are happy to help you through high-quality depression treatment in San Diego. And if you are outside of the southern California area, we also provide online depression treatment anywhere in CA!
Remember, reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness. The opposite is true. Please, don’t let your depression run your life any more than it has. Get the help you need and deserve.