Men’s depression isn’t something we talk about enough, so I’m going to share something with you all. I’m an adult male and I have depression. I have probably always had depression but at first, I didn’t realize it, and then I didn’t want to admit it. Maybe this sounds familiar to you?
I don’t talk openly about this, but I should. When I grew up in the ’80s and ’90s men’s mental health wasn’t something people talked about. If it ever came up it was either as the butt of a bad joke or as a sign of weakness. I have never seen myself as weak so in my mind, I couldn’t be depressed.
It took my wife’s insistence to finally open my eyes and get me to admit that I had depression. By that time I was well educated on mental health and had shed my earlier biases. So even though I no longer saw depression as a weakness I still couldn’t see it in myself until it was pointed out (many many times).
If this relates to you, I want you to know that it can get better. The best thing I have ever done is to listen to my wife and get help. I currently take a fairly low dosage of Citalopram and do meditation every morning and that has completely changed my life. I can’t guarantee it will work for you but the important thing is to get help.
So, enough about me already. Lets instead talk about men’s depression. The symptoms for men are different than for women (usually). Instead of feeling sad many men, like myself, feel angry and irritable. There is still a lot of bias about men’s depression so often men with depression aren’t properly treated.
Men’s Depression Myths
There are a lot of myths about men’s depression and at one point I believed and internalized them all. As I got older I learned better but these myths are still common.
- “Real Men” don’t get depressed.
- Depression is a sign of weakness.
- You can “suck it up” or “get over it” on your own.
- Talking about depression makes it worse.
What to Do Next?
If you think you might be depressed you need to call and make an appointment with a doctor. My doctor asked me a few questions, took some blood for labs, and then made the diagnosis. The whole thing took less than 30 minutes and was rather painless. He didn’t try to be my therapist and he believed everything I told him.
Again, if you are thinking about hurting yourself either call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room. You will have a lot of reasons to put it off but don’t. Do it immediately.
Learning More About Men’s Depression
As you know I am not an expert on mental health or anything else. Normally I wouldn’t let that stop me. I would do the research and then do my best to write it up in a way that makes sense and is accurate.
Instead of doing that I’m going to share this great video. It goes into everything you need to know about male mental health and depression.
One last thing. If you ever need to talk to anyone who won’t judge you feel free to reach out on twitter. I am happy to talk and there is a huge mental health community there as well.
Again, if you think there is any chance you have depression get help. It might not feel like it could make a difference but it will. Thanks for reading. Of all the things I’ve written on our blog, this was the one I put off the longest.