Despite official figures which show that women are more likely to suffer from depression than men, I have my suspicions. I believe that the number of men suffering from depression is vastly under-estimated and sadly many go either undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.
They say it’s good to talk. Apparently, it’s easier for women because we use at least 3 x as many words during a day as our menfolk. No surprises there then I hear you mutter but, as some of the more successful treatments for depression such as counselling and other talking therapies rely on open and forthcoming communication between patient and therapist, this does not bode well for all those stereotypical macho types does it?
Real men don’t cry either apparently, so with no outlet for those pesky negative emotions which wreak havoc with every aspect of your life, it is unsurprising that anxiety and depression tend to manifest themselves differently in men.
How to spot “Man-Blue”
Men more often become agitated, aggressive and angry. If they do talk about their feelings, it is more often than not restricted to their partner and close relatives. This added pressure can lead to family breakdown if it is not recognised and dealt with. They also tend to focus on the physical symptoms which can mask the underlying mind-misery.
Alcohol and drug abuse is more common in depressed men than women. I have read that many men feel that Dr’s surgeries are too “feminine” and so try to self-medicate with drink and pills and not seek professional help. Surely this can be rectified easily enough if explained to the Practice Managers? Top Gear magazines? (Over to you boys)
Sadly, men are far more likely to die by suicide than women. It is clear that men need to take more responsibility for their mental as well as physical health but there is a lot that we can all do to help them through bad times and to make sure they get help. Depression is non-discriminatory-it can affect anyone at anytime. Young, old, rich, poor, male or female.
Remember depression is treated successfully if only it is caught early enough. Get yourself down to your GP. You owe yourself that at least.