Lets face it. Depression is very real. Even though we would not like to admit it, its even more so in men. It is said that men suffer from the worst forms of depression. This is more likely to be true because, unlike women, men don’t like to talk about it. Being sad and depressed is almost a taboo for men around the world. When depressed, a man is more likely to get angry, irritated and frustrated instead of showing the sadness and tackling the problem or talking about it. Most of the time, men channel the sadness and depression out through reckless and violent behavior or try to fix it using liquor and other forms of drug, instead of coming face-to-face with the problem.
Depression is a form of illness which causes continuous feelings of sadness that shadow over a person. It also causes a loss of interest and appetite. The thing is that a lot of people out there still believe that depression is not a real problem. But it is and it gets worse if not fixed in early stages. Depressed people have a tendency to harm themselves, and the people around them, both physically and mentally.
Men are three times more likely to commit suicide than women.
The main problem lies in the social stigma that men don’t cry, or rather men SHOULDN’T cry! While crying and reaching out helps in these situations, men around the world are taught to not do so, as it will be UNMANLY! Even though crying helps to prevent sadness. Research suggests that on average men cry fewer times a year than women. It also states that crying relives us from stress and anxiety. It helps reduce distress and tension and also lowers blood pressure. While the world treats crying as girly, we forget that it only means that we are human and we have emotions.
Recognizing the problem
The first step to resolve any problem is to recognize that problem. It is imperative to start acknowledging that depression is not just a teenage or feminine problem. Men often suffer from depression and clinical depression can lead to dangerous life choices, such as suicide and drug abuse. General consciousness of the fact that depression is a common problem that remains unaddressed would be the first step towards resolving it.
Starting a Conversation
At times it is really hard to figure out how bad the situation is, especially when it comes to men. While women tend to be more talkative and share and talk about what is bothering them, men tend to keep emotions to themselves and keep the signs of depression repressed.
In these situations, talking in numbers is the only way to figure out how bad it is. Asking someone to rate the sadness level might help. For example you can ask, how happy is he on a scale of 0 to 10, 0 being the “The lowest I could ever be” and 10 being “I love my life.”
Even if someone doesn’t say they are at 0, but answers that they are at less than 5, it’s an indication that things might be really bad. But the first step is to make the person realize that there is a problem. Most of the time guys avoid the situation and don’t dig deep and eventually things start to get worse.
While women focus on both understanding and solving the problem, men tend to start fixing it before they even understand what depression really is. In general, men don’t like talking or they don’t want to go through the whole process. Rather they move to the more practical steps and focus more on improving habits, such as eating right, exercising, getting proper sleep etc.
Suicide Tendencies and Drug Abuse
Men start drinking or abusing drugs when depressed, and this is one of the main reasons why it is harder to help them recover. Suicidal tendencies get stronger when you are not in your senses and you cannot express your emotions.
Choosing alcohol or any kind of drug is the worst decision one can make, both for himself and the people around him. Misuse of drugs to help oneself to forget the bad things will eventually cause worse problems in life. Facing problems is the only way to get rid of them. Running away from them is not. When you see someone trying to do something reckless, know that they are either seeking thrills or are trying to run away from distress.