A lot of the times, when we think of a debilitating illness, some of the first diseases that comes to mind cancer, heart disease, or even Alzheimer’s but not depression. But as it turns out, the leading cause of poor health and disability worldwide is depression, a condition that still continues to lurk under the radar.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 300 million people suffer from depression, a number that has risen by 18 percent between 2005 and 2015. Nearly half of those people don’t get treatment, largely due to the stigma surrounding mental illnesses.
This is especially true for men, because they tend to show symptoms that aren’t typically what people normally associate with depression. While you might think that the primary symptom of depression is just a general feeling of sadness, it’s far from the only one.
Without treatment, depression can hamper your ability to live a normal, healthy life. Here are the most common symptoms of depression in men. If you think you have some of these, see your health care provider as soon as possible.
Your general mood tanks Everyone has bad days from time to time. But when you’re clinically depressed, you may be sad for a lot longer than just a day. If you get in an argument with your wife, friend or family member, for instance, you might feel down for the rest of the night, but you’ll likely wake up in the morning feeling less agree than you were. peeved than before.
When you’re depressed however, you feel weighed down by your negative mood for weeks or even months, and it interferes with your daily life.
You get angry unexpectedly A lot of guys see the symptoms of depression such as sadness, fatigue, weight loss or gain as signs of weakness, as such, it is uncommon to see guys bursting out angry unexpectedly. You may throw things, or yell, or try to hurt other people (either physically or emotionally) as a way to cope, he explains.
When you’re depressed, your outbursts may come out of nowhere, and are triggered by nothing other than your anger. If there’s nothing appropriate that seems to set it off, it’s not just an emotional reaction to something. It’s rooted inside.
A lot of men feel like they lose their masculinity when they admit they’re depressed, but it requires real strength to be able to say ‘I’m not doing well and I need some help.
You act recklessly Recklessness is much more common in depressed men than women, and is usually a byproduct of toxic masculinity. An inability to express your emotions will see you dealing with your depression in a way that may be a danger to yourself or others.
Consistently making bad judgment calls is a sign that something is wrong. What’s more, it may signal a specific type of depression known as bipolar disorder, a mental condition characterized by alternating periods of high and low mood states.
You drink a lot. Everyone knows that alcohol makes people feel good. It ignites the dopamine pathways in your brain, a neurotransmitter that helps control your brain’s reward and pleasure centers.
Due to the fact that these signals don’t work well when you are depressed, some men may try to compensate for it by drinking excessively. As a matter of fact, about 20 to 25 percent of men dealing with depression will suffer from a drinking problem.
However, alcohol is a lousy antidepressant, and it often magnifies many of your symptoms, such as lack of sleep and anger. More so, too much alcohol can hurt your muscles, heart, and other parts of your body.
You’re constantly tired Sleep disturbances are one of the earliest and most common features of depression. According to a review published in Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, three quarters of depressed patients have symptoms of insomnia.
You may have trouble falling asleep, or you might wake up in the middle of the night or early in the morning before your alarm goes off. When you have a million crazy thoughts running through your mind, your brain keeps you awake, which can lead to excessive fatigue. This might make your other symptoms even worse.
You may start pushing people away. Depressed people have a negative view of themselves and their future. Sufferers may feel like they have nothing to look forward to and also tend to forget about all of the positive parts of their life.
This may cause them to isolate themselves from family and friends. That means you might start isolating yourself from your family and friends. Unfortunately, this takes a toll on their relationships.
In fact, one 2011 study found that people who suffer from depressive symptoms in their teens actually experience more conflicts within their romantic relationships as they grow up than teens who didn’t have depression.
Your sex drive tanks. You might assume that sex would boost your mood, but that’s usually the opposite when you’re depressed. According to a Stanford University study, up to 75 percent of depressed patients experience low libido. A decreased sex drive is one of the earliest signs of depression, especially in young guys.
Furthermore, taking certain antidepressants to treat your depression can also sink your libido: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), including Prozac and Lexapro, can delay ejaculation and may even lower your testosterone.
What Should You Do If You’re Depressed? The side effects of depression can be fatal. But with the proper treatment, recovery is possible. Most people go through therapy or take medication to treat their depression, but research actually suggests that a combination of both is the best route for many people.
Everyone is different however, so talk to your doctor about what may work best for you.
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