How to Recognize and Treat Symptoms of Depression in Men

Man dealing with stress and anxiety

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Depression in men over 40 is a serious mental health condition that affects your feelings, thinking, and daily routines.  It is a very common condition that affects millions of men of all ages, and it has become more and more present in modern men. Experts state that 1 out of 8 males will face symptoms of depression throughout their lifetime, which puts them at risk of suicide.

Also, studies in the National Institute of Mental Health show more than 8 million US men (5.3%) are affected yearly by symptoms of depression. Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and a stressful environment.  Studies  Anxiety disorder affects over 40 million men and women around the US.

Unfortunately, depression in men is more challenging to spot.  This is often due to their nature and how men react to social pressure that depression is a sign of weakness and failure as a man.  Therefore, too many men do not get the diagnosis and treatment for depression they need.

 

This article will further discuss how to recognize and treat anxiety and depression in men.

 

5 Symptoms of depression in men

Recognizing symptoms of depression in men is a hard job. This is primarily due to the fact that men are considered “tough.”

Social expectations make men less likely to open up when talking about how they feel, and men are more prone to accumulating more depression and stress in the process.

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This can become very difficult for doctors to recognize since the tendencies and norms of how men should act and behave hinder them from perceiving their actual mental state. Social norms often appraise traditional masculinity, such as not talking about feelings and not getting upset.

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However, this makes it much harder for men to acknowledge that they suffer from depression. Unlike women, depression in men can manifest itself through:

  • loss of energy, lethargy, or exhaustion
  • changes in appetite
  • change in sleep patterns and restlessness
  • loss of sex drive
  • alcohol or drug use

These are all physical manifestations, but depression in men can also be seen on an emotional level:

  • feeling sad or nervous
  • losing interest or pleasure in activities
  • feeling irritable, angry, or violent
  • becoming isolated
  • feeling worthless, guilty, or hopeless
  • taking unnecessary risks
  • thinking about death or suicide

If you have been suffering from any of these symptoms for more than two weeks, there is a high chance you are in depression and should consult a doctor.

Caption: Feel of exhaustion and loss of sleep are one of the symptoms of depression

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How to treat depression in men

An exhausted man sleeping

When experiencing depression, you should always consult a doctor. Making an appointment for a doctor’s check is the only sure way to confirm and treat depression. Depending on the severity of your condition, doctors can then determine what type of treatment you need.

Thankfully, there are several ways to cure depression. The most obvious is, of course, the usage of medication in the form of antidepressants. However, do not under any circumstances take them on your own.

Doctors are the only ones that know the correct dosage for your needs, and using them on your own is very dangerous. There are also psychological treatments such as psychotherapy and counseling.

Brain stimulation therapies are somewhat new, and they involve a patient having brief electrical impulses going through their brains while under anesthetic. Lastly, there are some alternative and self-help therapies that can help you out. They come in the form of meditation, yoga, and acupuncture, which can also help treat anxiety.

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How to recognize and treat anxiety in men

man having an anxiety attack

Anxiety often manifests itself in men suffering from a large amount of stress or who are going through stressful situations. These situations are a solid ground for anxiety to take hold and spread. Many men face anxiety along with depression, and they don’t even know it.

Men are more likely to suffer from symptoms of depression and anxiety than women and are less likely to talk about or admit it. Unfortunately, these factors make it much more challenging to recognize and treat anxiety and depression in men. If you are facing any of these symptoms, you should consult a doctor immediately:

  • pounding or racing heart
  • excessive sweating
  • muscle tension
  • restlessness or agitation
  • dizziness
  • shortness of breath or choking sensations
  • insomnia
  • panic attacks

On top of these physical  signs of depression, you can also suffer emotional states such as:

  • frequent worry about what could go wrong
  • feelings of dread
  • concentration problems
  • avoidance
  • catastrophic thinking
  • irritability or edginess
  • being overly vigilant toward danger
  • absentmindedness
  • fear of losing control

Although these are just some signs of depression that can occur, experts state that the causes of anxiety can vary. While stress is the leading factor, work, family, and traumatic life experiences also affect men’s health. In addition, some medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or a decline in hormone levels also add to the tally and can be linked to depression in men.

Recognizing anxiety in the early stages can significantly help the treatment process. Experts always encourage their patients to acknowledge and realize their potential for anxiety to overcome it without medication.

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Caption: Going to therapy and counseling is how to recognize and treat anxiety and depression

Alt-tag: Man in a therapy session

 

How to treat anxiety in men

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First, you should know that anxiety is curable, and you don’t need to go through it alone. Experts in addictive diseases brightfuturestreatment.com state that you should consult a doctor or a therapist as soon as you spot any symptoms of depression or anxiety.

Depending on the severity of the state of your anxiety, your condition can be cured by various means. One of them is medications such as antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and buspirone. Remember that these can only be prescribed by doctors and are dangerous to take on your own.

Another treatment involves talk, cognitive and behavioral therapy, and in some cases, exposure therapy. Moreover, some lifestyle changes can also benefit your cause. A well-balanced diet, meditation, physical activity, and avoiding triggers such as cigarettes and alcohol is a stable and good basis for battling anxiety.

Caption: Some forms of anxiety require taking medication as the process of treatment

Alt-tag: Medication in the form of various pills

Depression and anxiety in men are prevalent mental health conditions in modern society. Although they are tough to handle and live with, they are curable and treatable. Because of masculine norms and natural affinities, men tend not to talk about or acknowledge the symptoms of both anxiety and depression.

They can often come hand in hand and pose a significant threat. Sadly, this makes it even harder to battle them. Although modern medicine has many ways to counter this problem, with medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes, most of the problems come from not recognizing the symptoms in time or completely ignoring them.

Doctors and experts cannot stress enough the value of recognizing depression and anxiety in their early stages. They also state that they are very curable and hope to inspire a quick and painless rehabilitation process for people who may be suffering from these afflictions.

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Author Bio:

Jonathan Burton is a health and fitness expert specializing in a holistic approach to treating the body and mind. In his free time, Jonathan loves writing about health and nutrition and how they affect one’s overall well-being.

 

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