(dailyRx News) Dads and husbands, brothers and sons suffer depression just like the women in their lives. But men are less likely to talk about it or seek care for the blues.
While depression in men is common, the condition if often ignored or unrecognized and left untreated. According to research, men experience and respond to depression differently than women. And they have different ways of coping with it - usually on their own.
Women tend to talk about their feelings more with friends and family. If they're feeling down, women are also more likely to seek care. Men - not so much. Depression in men can be an extremely serious medical condition. It can also be deadly.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, more than six million men suffer from depression each year. But many men try to deal with their depression on their own. And these attempts can fail, leaving them in pain and miserable.
Men typically don't think about depression. Instead, they'll say they're feeling tired, irritable or having trouble sleeping. Men will also admit that they've lost interest in work or in their hobbies, rather than report feelings of sadness, guilt or low self-esteem.
Depression also puts men at risk for suicide.
Here are the symptoms of depression in men and women of all ages:
- Appetite changes that cause weight loss or gain
- Changes in sleep - insomnia or oversleeping
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Irritability or restlessness
- Trouble thinking, concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts of suicide or attempts at suicide
Men (and women) need to realize that depression is never normal. It always causes needless suffering. With proper diagnosis and treatment, the vast majority of people with depression can overcome it.
If your dad, husband, brother or son is feeling down or depressed, it's important to encourage him to seek care. A visit to your family physician or a mental health professional will get the ball rolling toward feeling better.