Depression in Men
Men often ignore the condition of depression. Most of them think it to be a ‘women’s disease’ for women are the more emotional gender. Although women have a higher risk of suffering from depression, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is a mental disorder that could affect both genders and people of all ages.
Causes of Depression
The causes of depression are not precisely known. However, below are some common factors that may cause depression:
- Experiencing major life events such as death in the family, divorce or separation from life partner, retirement (especially for men who are used to being the sole breadwinner in the family), post baby delivery (for women), caretaking of medically ill persons, undergoing major medical operations, etc.
- Medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, cancer, chronic pain, and bed-ridden patients.
- Family history of depression.
- Financial problems such as unemployment.
Symptoms of Depression
Persons suffering from depression are more pessimistic in life. They would see things from a more negative point of view. Below are some examples of signs and symptoms of depression:
- Increase or decrease of appetite- causing weight gain or loss.
- Easily agitated, moodiness or feeling of anger.
- Tiredness and sleeps most of the time.
- Self hating – causing injuries such as cuts to own self.
- Social isolation- showing no interest in meeting people or communicating with people.
- Alcohol or drug abuse.
- Feeling of low self worthiness – causing suicidal thoughts or attempts.
Treatment for Depression
It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of depression for early treatment. According to WHO facts, antidepressant medication and psychotherapy are effective for 60-80% of those affected. However, less than 25% of depressed persons received these treatments. One of the main reasons is the number of cases being under-diagnosed due to the social stigma towards this mental disorder. Men especially consider that succumbing to depression is a sign of weakness of their masculine side.
With proper treatment, depression can be controlled. There are a number of medications which are helpful in treating depression and to prevent relapses of depression episodes. Family encouragement and psychotherapy are also part of a very important recovery routine for people suffering from depression. It is time for us, as part of society, to understand depression better and accept the fact that it is a ‘disease’ that could affect anyone and it needs to be treated.