Men and Depression: Debunking the myth that men do not deal with depression

Men and Depression: Debunking the myth that men do not deal with depression

Depression is a mental health illness that needs to be taken seriously. It has the ability to cripple one’s mental, social, and physical health. It can affect one’s ability to perform effectively at work, it can cause a lot of strain in otherwise healthy relationships. It is also one of the factors that can increase your chances of getting cardiovascular diseases.

When seeking treatment for depression it is important to be aware of the myths. These myths can prevent people suffering from depression from getting professional assistance that can turn around their lives. Here are some of the myths.

Myth: Real Men Don’t Get Depressed

Men are socialized differently from women right from the time they are young boys. Boys are encouraged to ‘man up’ whenever they are facing a problem. Additionally, men are conditioned to reject anything that leans towards feminine characteristics as defined by patriarchal societies.

The fact is anyone suffering from a mental health issue needs to be treated as soon as possible. When you get treatment for depression at the early stages you can avoid making the problem worse than it already is.

Seeking professional help also ensures that you get to the bottom of the problem. A person struggling with depression can be too caught up in his own repetitive negative thoughts to look at the problem objectively. Treatment of depression may involve scientifically proven strategies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which is used to pinpoint cognitive pathways that are the foundation of the negative thought patterns that are keeping you depressed.

Myth: It Should be Obvious When Someone Has Depression

Sometimes someone struggling with depression may seem dejected, sad or isolated from the rest of the world. However, that does not mean that each and every person with depression exhibits these symptoms. Sometimes people try to conceal their melancholy because they feel like sharing the problem would expose more of themselves than they are ready to reveal.

Research shows that men are less likely to accept that they have a problem. Men are socialized to want to have control over his problems or ‘man up’ instead of seeking help. Also, this attitude is intensified by the fact that some people believe that expression of emotion is a feminine trait.

Therefore men are more likely to show typical signs of depression such as sadness. They may choose to find an outlet in destructive behavior. Sometimes a man may choose to gamble, engage in risky sexual behavior, or consume alcohol and drugs to distract them from the negative thoughts.

Myth: There Is No Effective Treatment for Depression

There are people who believe that counseling and therapy are just fads meant to make money from people’s misery. However, some of the methodologies used to treat mental health issues such as anxiety and depression have been found to be very effective.

Some statistics indicate that 80% of people who undergo treatment end up getting better after the program. Modern rehab facilities incorporate a holistic approach that addresses mental, physical and spiritual needs of the individual. Treatment for depression may include conventional therapies such as CBT and group sessions complemented by nutritional therapy, art therapy, and meditation.

It is not entirely true that men do not deal with depression. Often, men avoid exposing their vulnerabilities especially if they feel they’ll be misunderstood. However, once a man finds the right treatment center that understands and addresses his needs objectively they can recover and go back to living productive lives.