Male depression is a taboo topic. The stereotypical man is supposed to be strong, responsible, and not show weakness. Depression is considered a weakness that only women can afford. As a result, men seek help from specialists much less often and commit suicide more often. We must speak out about this.
One must be strong and depression is for the weak
A man is the head of the family. He must be prepared for all circumstances. Admitting that he has depression makes him weak. A man who suffers from depression has low self-esteem. He believes he is not fulfilling his basic duties. All these traits are considered unmanly, which further exacerbates his condition. Stereotypes and stigmatization of certain behaviors are deeply rooted in our culture, and this causes men to be afraid to ask for help.
“A real man” cannot afford feelings like sadness, confusion, or indifference. So he cannot afford depression. It is unfair and leads to dangerous situations. More men commit suicide, although more suicide attempts are recorded among women. Men do it decisively, which results in a certain death.
According to data available on the police website, 11,961 people committed suicide in 2019, of whom 8,782 were men and 3,177 were women. The most common cause of suicide was mental illness. This shows how serious the problem is.
Men do not recognize the symptoms of depression
Stereotypical perceptions of male traits cause men to overlook or minimize the symptoms of depression as much as possible.
The most common symptoms of depression in men include: headaches, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and irritability. They may also experience outbursts of anger or nervousness. These are symptoms that can be very easily ignored. If a man works hard, he has the right to be tired. Irritability and even aggression are stereotypically attributed to men and are not related to depressive disorders.
The psychological pain is so great that without the use of psychoactive substances, it would be even harder to function with it. However, this is not a solution to the problem, but only a temporary relief that, after the substance wears off, will cause even worse effects. A vicious cycle is created.
Famous gentlemen like Jim Carrey, Owen Wilson, and Matthew Perry have also spoken about their depression. The hardest part is admitting that you are sick and seeking help.
More and more men are encountering depression. This cannot be allowed. If you notice symptoms such as: loss of appetite, changes in behavior, negative thoughts, weight loss or excessive weight gain, aggressive behavior, sadness, or suicidal thoughts in your partner, spouse, or colleague at work – you must intervene. First, talk to them, support them, and listen with empathy, and only then refer them to a specialist – a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Remember, depression can occur in anyone. Depression has no gender. Like any other illness, it requires treatment.