Is Your Man Depressed?

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How do you know when your man is feeling depressed?

Chances are you have no idea.

Men may suffer from depression but are seemingly reluctant to seek help for the condition.

What are some of the symptoms of male depression?

Different symptoms THAN IN WOMEN

  • irritability
  • sudden anger
  • increased loss of control
  • greater risk-taking
  • aggression.

How do men try to cope with symptoms of depression?

Different ways of coping THAN WOMEN

Men who are eventually diagnosed with depression seem to drink and use illegal drugs as ‘self-medication’ to cope with their depression rather than seeking talking therapy; and often feel they have to cope alone.

Men’s attitudes and behaviour

Attitudes

  • Some men are particularly competitive. It has to do with power and the urge to be perceived as being in control, which may make it harder to tell someone that you need help as a result.
  • Some men believe that if they do summon the courage to talk to their partner about how they feel, they will not be sympathetic.

Personality TYPE

  • Shy men seem to be more likely to become depressed.
  • However, depression can happen to anyone.

Behaviour

  • Men may use alcohol or drugs to feel better. Overuse of alcohol often leads to irresponsible, unpleasant or dangerous behaviour.
  • You may also focus more on your work than your relationships or home life to avoid depression.

Which factors makes men depressed?

Relationships

Trouble in a marriage or important relationship is the single thing most likely to make men depressed.

Communication style

A difference in communication ‘style’ can make your partner feel even more ignored if you refuse to talk about what’s making you depressed.

Separation and divorce

  • Depression is more common and more severe in men who are divorced. This may be because, as well as losing your main relationship:
    • you often lose touch with your children
    • you may have to move to live in a different place
    • you often find yourself short of money.

What other problems can depression cause?

Problems with sex

  • When men are depressed, they feel less good about their bodies and less sexy.  Many go off sex completely.
  • Some men who are depressed have intercourse just as often, but they don’t feel as satisfied as usual.
  • A few depressed men seem to have sex more often, perhaps as a way of trying to make themselves feel better.
  • Some antidepression drugs can reduce your sex-drive.

The good news is that, as the depression improves, your sexual desire, performance and satisfaction will return.

It’s worth remembering that it can happen the other way round. Impotence (difficulty in getting or keeping an erection) can bring about depression. Again, there are effective ways to help this.

Helping men

  • Many men find it difficult to ask for help when they are depressed. It is nothing to do with being weak or having failed.
  • Men can get help more easily if people recognise their particular needs. For instance, a man who is depressed is more likely to talk about his physical symptoms than his feelings.
  • If a depressed man is in a steady relationship, his partner should usually be involved in his recovery program. They need to understand what is happening.

Helping yourself

  • Try to tell someone how you feel about it. If you don’t feel you can talk to anyone, try writing down how you feel.
  • A walk during your lunch-break at work will help to keep you physically fit and sleep better.
  • It’s easy to lose weight and run low on vitamins when you are depressed – or to eat too much junk food and put on weight you don’t want.
  • Avoid over indulgence in alcohol as it will make you more depressed in the long run. If you feel tense all the time, try exercise, yoga,  or massage.

About Robin Wright-Thurnley

Robin is an Associate Coach at Phoenix Relationship Coaching where he guides men towards achieving their dreams of lasting love.

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