Male Depression Problems
It is said that there is a difference between the way in which the women and the men cope with depression. Men do not want to admit that they might suffer from depression even though they felt down for very long periods of time. Even if they might believe that there is something wrong with them, and that they should get professional help, they hesitate in doing so. They will not even ask help from a friend or from a relative. The men believe that they have to overcome certain stereotypes about what makes a man, and as a result they believe that they can solve the problem on their own, or that there isn’t anything wrong with them. Dr. Ian Cook, professor of psychiatry at the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and director of its Depression Program, states that in most of the cases, when men seek help the depression is in a very advanced state.
According to Dr. Cook, the biggest problem is to make men admit that they might have a problem. It is said that men get depressed half as often as the females. It is unknown if this is because of the difference in biology, or if it is because of the fact that the men do not want to admit that they are depressed. The men usually avoid asking for help because they have the belief that asking for help is a sign of weakness. That is untrue, especially in these cases, when waiting too much might mean a serious threat for the health of the individual. It is said that instead of admitting that they have a problem and that they can not cope with the problems of life, men resort to all sorts of substances which might help them get over the situation.
They start to use drugs, or alcohol, or isolating themselves in order to avoid the problem. Some start to work way too much, only to forget about the problems, but in the majority of the cases, these approaches do not work for them. Dr. Jonathan Alpert, psychiatrist and associate director of the Depression Clinical and Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital says that those approaches can relieve the pain for a certain moment, and that the men will feel better afterwards. They do not feel the full impact of the depression because of those external factors, but the effects of those factors are not permanent. Men would never reveal the fact that they have an emotional problem; in fact, in most of the cases, they do not pay too much attention to the emotional problems, only to the physical ones.
The men would never admit that they feel bad about themselves, or that they have a low self-esteem. There are many symptoms which are associated with depression in the case of the men. They will either lose their sleep or their appetites; they might also lose or gain considerable amounts of weight, they might be irritable, have headaches, or might lose concentration very fast. However, the symptoms might go unnoticed, or they might not be linked to depression. If that happens, the depression can evolve for years until it is discovered, and then it will be much more difficult for the doctor to solve the problem. In the case of men, depression is lethal more often than in the case of the women. Women attempt to suicide more often than the men, but the men are four times more successful at achieving that task.
There are also cases when the men go to seek help, they receive a diagnosis, but they simply ignore it, and as a result, they do not take their medication. They feel that something is wrong with them, and instead of taking the medications they convince themselves that the problem will go away on its own. They feel that they will be judged for being depressed, or that they might be labeled as crazy persons if they admit that they suffer from this illness. If they do not take the medication, and if the depression continues to progress then the men might consider suicide as the only way out.
There are cases when men do not commit suicide, and in some of the occasion that means admittance that something is wrong with them and a desire to seek help. Many people confess to their psychologists that they have attempted to kill themselves, and the fact that they could not do it, brought them to the doctor. They believe that their life still has a purpose, that they have something to fight for and to live for. The problem is that since they resort to medication that late, it will take lots of time until they will be able to control the disease. However, it can be controlled. There are no evidences that the rates of depression in men are rising, but the psychologists say that they observed an increase, especially in the latest period because of the economical crisis.
Many people get depressed because they lost their job, and as a result they go to see the doctor. They feel that the doctor can relate to their problem because the loss of a job can be understood by everyone. They feel that a job loss is not uncommon, and as a result they do not feel the stigma associated with the depression, like they would if they would be depressed for different reasons. However, even under these circumstances, many still see the illness as a flaw, and as a result they refuse to get professional help. The doctors stated that the most courageous thing one could do is to admit that he has a problem.11