Monday, July 14, 2008

Depression in Men: Denial, Destruction & Death

So yesterday I posted on anorexia in men. Today we're looking at depression in men, which is often under-diagnosed because men adopt that whole "stiff upper lip" the British are always going on about.

But it's a serious problem. A depressed man is much more (4x) more likely to take his own life. That needs to change.

Depression in Men: Denial, Destruction & Death

Although more women than men are diagnosed with depression, the consequences for men and their families are more violent and destructive.

The Men’s Health Network has recently published a free e-book entitled “Depression, Anxiety and Stress“. It includes the following statistical.

  • Men are 4 times more likely to commit suicide than women.
  • Men with depression are twice as likely to die from any cause.
  • Older men has the highest suicide rate of all.

The book also contains critical points about how depression is expressed in men.

  • “Deny to himself and everyone else that he might have a problem
  • Try to mask the problem by turning to drugs or alcohol or throwing himself into work in an attempt to avoid dealing with the issue
  • Act out by behaving hostilely or aggressively or doing dangerous or self-destructive”

The wages of depression in men can be catastrophic.

Here is a relevant post from the same blog that can help ease the suffering of depression by focusing on the positive. I have suffered from severe depression in my own life, and have found some of these suggestions useful, especially a gratitude journal.
Your Wellbeing Diary Can Help Moderate Depression

A simple nightly diary can help you be less depressed and cultivate a sense of wellbeing. At most, it takes 5 to 10 minutes a day.

Professor Martin Segilman of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvannia, conducted a study with extremely depressed people. Participants were asked to remember 3 positive things that happened that day and write them down They could be things like: you ran into a friend, you started a book you really enjoy, you found a missing piece of jewelry.

By the simple act of writing these things down, 94% of the patients experienced significant relief from their depression. The most startling result was that participants went from “severely depressed” to “mildly to moderately depressed” in fifteen days.

I’ve taken this concept and created my wellness diary in which I make entries every night. Entries for the day include:

  • Accomplishments;
  • Acts of kindness extended to others;
  • Acts of kindness extended to me;
  • Occurrences for which I am grateful;
  • And things I am looking forward to.

I have found this to be extraordinarily helpful in shifting my mood in a positive direction and keeping it there.

Try this if you are depressed, or even if you are just feeling down. It's amazing that shifting our minds to more positive thoughts can help. But it won't solve the problems causing the depression, so seek help for that.


5 comments:

Gary said...

Hi Harry,

Thanks for linking to my blog.

The custom is that when someone links to another blog. They stress a few points or insights and the user can then click the link; they will be sent over to the originator's website where they read the full post.

Thanks for respecting this practice in the future.

Gary,

Anonymous said...

There is a book I have heard is good, from a co-worker of mine (another therapist) but haven't read it, called "I Don't Want to Talk About It." It is specifically about male depression and supposedly gets is right (my friend is a male as well).

j

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tindba said...
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