Let’s talk about depression in men as they continue to bottle up their emotions and frustrations. South Africa has the third-highest suicide rate on the continent, and while depression rates for women may be twice as high, men are at higher risk for suicide.
Why Men Don’t Talk About Their Depression
As with women, men can also be damaged by stereotypes. Traditional cultural norms of how a man is supposed to behave, make men reluctant to open up about their mental health or reach out for help. Many men still wrongly associate depression and anxiety with weakness and excessive emotion. Because men are often expected to be strong and in control, talking to others about their state of mind is more challenging.
The fact is that people who can’t speak openly about their emotions may be less able to recognise symptoms of mental health issues in themselves. Consequently, they are less likely to reach out for help.
Depression In Men
Men with depression tend to complain about fatigue, irritability, sleep problems, and loss of interest in work and hobbies. Other symptoms include anger, aggression, violence, reckless behaviour, and substance abuse. Hormonal imbalances, like lower testosterone levels, can also increase symptoms of anxiety and depression in men.
Men are more likely to use dangerous coping strategies like drugs and alcohol to self-medicate their depression rather than talking about it. They may also use escapist behaviour, such as throwing themselves into their work or hobbies.
Factors That Can Influence Men’s Mental Health
- Sexism & Traditional Gender Roles
- Trauma & PTSD
- Poor working conditions or a high workload
- Childhood family issues
- Loss of work
- Separation and divorce
- Financial issues
- Substance abuse
- Hormonal Imbalance
The Benefits of Seeking Treatment For Depression
Treatment for mental health problems like depression and anxiety can provide essential benefits, such as:
- Helping you understand your condition.
- Enhancing your quality of life and relieving your symptoms.
- Enabling you to set and achieve specific goals.
- Improving your capacity to deal with stress.
- Helping improve your relationships with friends and family.
- Stopping harmful or destructive behaviours.
There are many effective treatments for depression, including medication, therapy and alternative remedies. Finding out more about your options will help you decide what will most likely work best for your particular situation and needs.
The Nine Potential Symptoms Of Depression Are:
- feeling depressed throughout most or all days
- lacking interest and enjoyment in activities you used to find pleasurable
- trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- difficulty eating or overeating, together with weight loss or weight gain
- restlessness, agitation, or irritability
- excessive fatigue
- unreasonable or extreme feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- inability to make decisions or concentrate
- suicidal thoughts or actions, or thinking a lot about death and dying
Getting Help For Depression
If you have been living with the symptoms of depression for two or more weeks, please speak to your doctor or Mental Health Professional. It is better to get a second opinion earlier rather than later. For assistance with your mental health, Whatsapp or call Life Path Health’s 24/7-Helpline on 072-7900-506.