- Types of Depression
- Symptoms of Depression and Mania
- Co-Occurrence of Depression with Other Illnesses
- Causes of Depression
- MD: Men and Depression (research)
- Depression in Elderly Men
- Depression in Boys and Adolescent Males
- Diagnostic Evaluation and Treatment
- How to Help Yourself if You Are Depressed
- How Family and Friends Can Help
- Where to Get Help
- For Further Information
A man can experience depression in many different ways. He may be grumpy or irritable, or have lost his sense of humor. He might drink too much or abuse drugs. It may be that he physically or verbally abuses his wife and his kids. He might work all the time, or compulsively seek thrills in high risk behavior. Or, he may seem isolated, withdrawn, and no longer interested in the people or activities he used to enjoy.
Perhaps this man sounds like you. If so, it is important to understand that there is a brain disorder called depression that may be underlying these feelings and behaviors. It’s real: scientists have developed sensitive imaging devices that enable us to see depression in the brain. And it’s treatable: more than 80 percent of those suffering from depression respond to existing treatments, and new ones are continually becoming available and helping more people. Talk to a healthcare provider about how you are feeling, and ask for help.
Or perhaps this man sound like someone you care about. Try to talk to him, or to someone who has a chance of getting through to him. Help him to understand that depression is a common illness among men and is nothing to be ashamed about. Encourage him to see a doctor and get an evaluation for depression.
For most men with depression, life doesn’t have to be so dark and hopeless. Life is hard enough as it is; and treating depression can free up vital resources to cope with life’s challenges effectively. When a man is depressed, he’s not the only one who suffers. His depression also darkens the lives of his family, his friends, virtually everyone close to him. Getting him into treatment can send ripples of healing and hope into all of those lives.
Depression is a real illness; it is treatable; and men can have it. It takes courage to ask for help, but help can make all the difference.
“And pretty soon you start having good thoughts about yourself and that you’re not worthless and you kind of turn your head over your shoulder and look back at that, that rutted, muddy, dirt road that you just traveled and now you’re on some smooth asphalt and go, ‘Wow, what a trip. Still got a ways to go, but I wouldn’t want to go down that road again.’”
-Patrick McCathern, First Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, Retired