Depression is a disorder that knows no boundaries and is definitely not affected by gender. Most of us perceive that depression only targets women but the reality is that men are as likely to suffer from depression as women. Statistics show that an estimated three to four million American men are suffering from this illness and every year this figure continues to increase. However health institutions reports less depression in men and the reason behind is that most men rarely acknowledge suffering from this disorder.
The Male Psyche
In order for us to get a clear picture on how men typically handle depression, let us take a closer look at how they think. As opposed to women, men are viewed as the tough one, the typical macho syndrome, and as such would not allow other people to find their weak spot, become vulnerable or lose control. But the heart of the matter is that men get depression, regardless of their status in life.
Depression Signs for Men
The symptoms of depression between men and women vary as each gender has their own way of manifesting their depressive disorder. As men try to cope with depression, they try to find outlets to vent these frustrations, some of the most common tell tale signs for men include alcohol or drug abuse, abusive or violent behavior, recklessness and sometimes infidelity.
Research suggests that one of the worst hit by depression are married men. Men who are married are subjected to more pressures as they need to always fulfill the expectations as the head of the family. This burden can be a constant source of stress. Under depression, men can become more detached in their marital affairs, which leads to fighting as the wife tries to have their husband open up. Under a depressive atmosphere, the marriage tends to crumble up and lead to separation. Reports show that men who are undergoing divorce are most likely to end up killing themselves in a depressed state.
Career Failures and Retirement
Recent studies reveal that 1 in 7 American men who suddenly find themselves out of work will likely develop a depressive disorder. As men are expected to provide for the family, work has become a pertinent factor in their lives and when this is taken away, most men fail to cope. At the same time, retirement can bring about a huge change in a man’s life, at this point in their lives men often find themselves useless and with time in their hands, men have a strong tendency to further drown their sorrows. This loss of control can make men easily fall prey to depression.
When depression is left untreated, it can take on its toll on the individual and at its worse can lead to taking one’s life just to escape from this disorder. Records shows that men are three time more likely to commit suicides than women, especially among the 16 – 24 age group.
As men will most likely not admit depression, identifying and getting treatment becomes much more difficult and complicated. The key to fighting off depression is to get help, if you feel that your father, husband, brother or friend is fighting this disorder, lend them a hand and go to a doctor for help.