Depression is a very common and serious mood disorder that negatively affects how a person feels, thinks and behaves. Millions of people worldwide either suffer or have suffered from some type of depression, and that number only seems to be growing.
Although women are more prone to depression, there’s no denying many men are affected by this serious illness. But because depression tends to manifest differently in men than in women, it can be hard to recognize its symptoms. But just like every other illness, if left untreated, depression can have serious consequences.
Learn how to recognize early signs of depression in men so you seek treatment and feel better.
Signs of Depression
It’s normal to feel down from time to time – for example, if you have a fight with your wife or your boss, it’s perfectly normal to feel irritated and/or sad for a day or two. In more serious cases, such as major disappointments in life (dealing with a death of a loved one, divorce, etc.), that sadness can last for weeks and even months.
So what is the difference between “normal” feelings of sadness or anger that everyone goes through at least once in their life, and “abnormal” ones? For one, if those feelings start interfering with your productivity at work or school, it’s a sign of trouble. Furthermore, if they start impacting your relationships with other people and your overall enjoyment of life, it may be time to seek help.
Here are some of the most common signs of depression in men:
- Recurrent thoughts about death;
- Feelings of hopelessness or emptiness;
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing;
- Insomnia OR sleeping too much;
- Feelings of inexplicable anger;
- Unexplainable weight loss.
Remember, signs of depression can vary from person to person, but what is true for everyone suffering from this debilitating illness is that they feel different from their normal self – often, much less productive, less willing to put effort into things and less willing to spend time with other people.
Treatments for Depression
Depression can be hard to treat because people are different – often, what works for one person may not work for another. Saying that, there definitely are things you can do to free yourself from the claws of depression. Just remember that it will take time to feel like yourself again, so arm yourself with patience and persistence.
Seek help: talk with your friends and family, but seek professional help too. This is crucial because sometimes only antidepressants can help.
Participate in social activities: it’s important to surround yourself with people and participate in social activities, even when you don’t feel like it.
Start exercising: if you’re currently inactive, it’s crucial to start exercising, and if you’re already active, make sure you exercise frequently and regularly.
Eat healthily: avoid sugar and refined carbs and go for healthy fats, protein, complex carbs and lots of fruits and vegetables.
Avoid alcohol: although it may appear to ‘drown your sorrows’, alcohol actually worsens depression long-term.