Men and Depression
Depression does not discriminate. But men and women tend to differ in their experiences of depression. In general, men tend to show more anger and irritability as opposed to a sad mood. Men tend to experience more physical symptoms associated with depression, such as headaches, stomach issues, and general physical pain or discomfort.
Depression in men tends to take the form of maladaptive and unhealthy behaviors. Whether it be excessive drinking or eating, throwing yourself at work, or pulling away from family and friends, it’s common for depressed men to find ways to escape or avoid these feelings.
Undiagnosed But Not Unnoticed
Compared to women, men tend to resist seeking help for depression. Men are more likely to not recognize anger or physical symptoms as signs of depression. Men tend to downplay or flat-out deny their symptoms. As a result, depression in men often goes undiagnosed and untreated.
Untreated does not mean unnoticed. In fact, depression in men can be quite noticeable. Depression in men can often take the form of irritability and anger, which only intensifies conflicts with loved ones, co-workers, or other important people in our lives. Unhealthy eating or drinking are also signs of underlying emotional or psychological stress, as are sharp declines in work performance. Simply put, the people who care about us notice, even if we do not.
What Can Men Do?
First and foremost, meeting with a mental health professional can really help. Seeking out expert help and guidance can provide us with information, skills, and new perspectives necessary for overcoming our blind spots and making lasting changes.
Therapy can be emotional, but growth and change are about more than just discussing how we feel. It’s about identifying specific problems and working towards specific goals. When first getting started in therapy, consider the following:
focus on goals as opposed to problems or diagnostic labels
use schedules and develop routines
find activities that get you up, moving, and out of your typical environment
Good therapy is accessible, goal-oriented, and defines a clear path to relief and growth. The above considerations can help keep you focused and take the guesswork out of the therapy equation.
Get Back to You
Imagine getting back to your happier self. Imagine having better relationships with the people you care about. Imagine spending less time in conflict and anger, and more time in peace and contentment. It is possible, and you are more than capable.
Depression doesn’t have to define you and therapy doesn’t have to be a scarlet letter. If you’re tired of struggling and want to move forward in a positive direction, contact me today at 954-391-5305 for your complimentary consultation. Let’s get started with getting back to you.
Dr. Jeffrey Mandelkorn provides counseling for adults in Fort Lauderdale and Coral Springs, Florida. He also provides online counseling across the state of Florida via our secure telehealth platform. For more information about Dr. Jeff and his approach, click here.