Hi, my name is Costy, I am a man and I suffer from depression. It is a strange thing I know, to hear a man say that he is suffering from depression. Men are generally expected to be strong, to fight and be the ultimate macho guy. Depression is thus seen as a sign of weakness by a large part of the society.
Unfortunately, depression in men is more common than you would think. The latest statistics on depression indicate that at least one in every ten people or 10 percent of the population suffers from a case of depression. Mind you these statistics only cover those people who actually get diagnosed; people who must first realize that they have a problem so as to get diagnosed. Knowing how men are stubborn at accepting that they need help, there is a good chance that the percentage of men suffering from depression is much much higher.
Male response to depression
This is understandable considering that men have always been considered to be the society’s pillars of strength. If they start to crumble, who will people turn to in times of trouble? So there are these expectations that men cannot stand to go against. Thus, when depressed, rather than talking about it and seeking help a majority of men will bottle it up inside them and allow the depression to destroy their lives. This is why even though only half as many men as women suffer from depression, the effects it has on men are much more severe.
Depression is “normal”
In understanding depression and how to tackle it, the first thing to know is that it is very normal. It is the body’s natural response to perceived danger. Centuries ago when we were still cavemen, people lived in groups. If any member of the group was rejected and cast away, chances of dying were very high. The body would therefore respond to the increased danger by increasing stress levels. This made one keener to lurking dangers.
Millenniums later, this response still resides deep within us. The problem is that today, stress levels can get pretty high even for small reasons, and the effects are much worse. When you get rejected by a friend or family, if a loved one passes away or if you lose your job the brain experiences a chemical imbalance and this manifests itself in terms of depression.
The current nature of the society has led to more occurrences of events that may trigger depression. Things like strict expectations by family and society and establishment of systems such as schools and offices have played a role in the increased prevalence of depression.
The ugly consequences of depression
I almost killed myself when I was in the throes of depression. Life as I saw it had gotten so bad that I no longer saw any reason to continue living. Before you even get to experiencing suicidal thoughts, you have to endure many other negative effects that depression has on your life and those around you.
1. Depression and self esteem
Usually, the path to depressions starts the moment you start experiencing low self esteem. You start thinking lowly of yourself, how unworthy you are and how you can never accomplish anything. Slowly by slowly, you are setting yourself up for depression. So when a “bad” event takes place such as not being invited to a football game by your best friend, it is enough to trigger depression. Once depression sets in, self esteem goes even lower. A combination of these two conditions will not have a happy ending.
2. Depression and relationships
One thing many people do not understand is that your emotions and attitude will not only affect you, but also those who are around you. If you are depressed, you become withdrawn, easily irritable and unhelpful; you will create enemies very quickly. Your friends start becoming distant and if you have a lover, things may become rocky. If a solution is not sought soon enough, you will end up alone and lonely.
3. Depression and health
Depression can manifest itself in negative physical symptoms. Some of the most common depression health symptoms include weight gain, high blood pressure, lethargy (a feeling of being without any energy) and fatigue. One problem that almost all depression sufferers exhibit is insomnia. Depression drastically lowers sleep quality and the result is that you spend all day feeling tired and irritable. Your work and relationships suffer greatly. Lack of adequate sleep can also have a whole range of other problems especially in persons with previous or existing conditions of heart disease and stroke.
4. Depression and alcohol
As a general rule, alcohol and depression should never go together but they almost always do. Alcohol helps to take away the sharp edge of all those negative emotions bottled up inside and before you know it, you are an alcoholic and until you can get to the root problem of the depression and solve it with some help, you will remain an alcoholic.
I do not have a magic formula that you can live by to ensure that you do not get depressed; the fact is, you will get depressed. The secret is in how you handle the depression. If you allow it to eat you and you refuse to seek help, your future is not so beautiful. If you use it as a stepping stone and a way to focus your energies into finding a solution, you can overcome anything that comes your way.
I started Male depression website to help fellow men like me who are suffering from depression. Here on this site, you will learn how to accept yourself as you are and the world around you as it is. You will learn how to boost your confidence and self esteem; how to fight depression like a man.
If you are currently depressed and have lost hope in all what you believed in, it is time to admit that you have a problem and need help. Do not waste your beautiful life by wallowing uselessly in your pain. See a doctor and then come to this site and use our materials to keep the depression away. Listen to some self esteem mp3 talks, get a relaxation cd and use it to calm your mind, read some uplifting books and most importantly learn how to share what you are feeling with your friends and loved ones.