Men with Anxiety, Depression And Why We Try To Hide It
By Ryan Light, Running/Anxiety Coach
Men with Anxiety, Depression – Most research shows that women are much more likely than men to suffer from anxiety and depression, but that doesn’t mean that men never have the problem. Anxiety and depression in men is often overlooked due to the fact that men are very reluctant to let their true emotions show, they think it will make seem “soft”, rather than the “tough guy” they think they should be. For the same reason, fewer men suffering from these disorders will seek treatment. If all of the men who suffer from anxiety or depression were to step forward, chances are there wouldn’t be a lot of difference in the statistics when compared with the number of women who also have depression. I myself suffer from anxiety, having OCD and panic at times can lead to depression. I fought this for years by my self, for my I felt that I had to act like everything was together, I was “tough” and could handle it. But truth was, I was weak, scared, felt alone, and needed help. After years of trying to conquer my anxiety, I decided to seek help. I found the help I needed, started to run, and my anxiety/OCD/panic subsided. Didn’t go away, but after learning how to manage it rather than it manage me, life was manageable. I’d encourage anyone (men or women) reading this that is dealing with anxiety, OCD, panic, PTSD please seek the help you so desperately need.
Causes Of Anxiety, Depression In Men
It may seem that women tend to suffer from general depression and anxiety far more than men do, but men tend to suffer from these disorders just as much as women do, even if they don’t seem to. There are several issues in life that can add up to the increasing anxiety that men experience in their lives. It could be issues at work; it could be the low level of certainty they have, or troubles at home with their family. Maybe relationships are not going as they ought to be; any of these, or even a mix of some these can all add to discouragement in men. For me, my mental disorders were a combination of chemical imbalances, environment, family genes, and the emotional stress growing up as a kid.
Symptoms Of Anxiety, Depression In Men
It can be extremely difficult to get most men to talk about their lives and their feelings, and most physicians are aware of that fact, and shy away from any touchy subjects as much as possible. Men often think they should tough their problems out on their own, rather than seek professional treatment. They hold their emotions and feelings inside until they can no longer cope with them, causing even more and more problems for themselves. Often, the symptoms of anxiety, depression that men experience are quite different than those reported by most women sufferers. Anxiety, depression symptoms experienced by men may seem like any other health complaint, including general muscle and joint pain, extreme fatigue and less energy, insomnia, and appetite changes.
Men will often express their feeling through violent emotions, such as anger and physical outbursts. They will often begin to drown their sorrows and problems with alcohol or drugs, rather than admit they have a problem and seek treatment. Due to the symptoms they usually suffer from, men often don’t even think about the fact that they may be depressed. They know there is a problem, but they can’t say just what it is.
In some scientific research, the link between anxiety and depression and the hormone testosterone has been questioned. We do know that as men get older, they have less and less testosterone in their system, a common finding in men who are older than fifty years of age. It also seems that the problem may be worsened with excessive alcohol consumption, extreme stress, and being moderately overweight, or obese.
Fighting Anxiety, Depression
No matter what label we use, the fact is, as Benjamin Franklin once said “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and the best prevention is to build resilience. Whether you are going through depression at this moment or feeling chronically stressed or anxious, here are some ways to help build physical as well as mental strength and to put you in good stead for the future.
- Interesting enough – get married! (to the right person, of course!). Research has discovered that being married reduces the risk of developing anxiety and depression. If you experience conflict or problems, as we all do, deal with them immediately rather than avoid them which will create chronic stress.
- Exercise! Doing aerobic exercise such as walking, running, cycling or using a cross-trainer for 30 minutes just three times a week can be just as effective in treating depression as taking antidepressants.
- Watch Your Diet. Research has found that deficiency of omega three fatty acids can cause depression. Cooked salmon provides omega three which the body can absorb well. If cooked salmon is not an option, try taking omega three oil capsules.
- Change Your Mind Set. It has been found that when optimistic people face a problem, they believe it is temporary and can be solved. They also tend to place the blame outside of themselves whereas depressed people tend to blame others or themselves and view the problem as permanent. So, change your perceptions and focus on the fact that nobody is to blame, there is just a problem that needs a solution and solutions are bountiful.
- Strengthen Your Character. A good skill to develop is to learn how to perceive crises as opportunities to grow from and to focus on the positive meaning of situations to create positive results in life.
- Foster Calm In Your Life. Learn some relaxation techniques and practice them daily even if just for 10 minutes. They will help give you the energy to cope with anything.
- Accept Change. Though it may be hard to let go of pride and of the role you are used to playing, learning to accept that all things change and that change can be a good thing will go a long way to helping you flow with life rather than resist it and stress yourself out.
Conventional Methods For Dealing With Anxiety, Depression
- One of the usual methods of treating depression is through medications like anti-depressants. They are effective in controlling the symptoms associated with the mental disorder. Nevertheless, they carry certain side effects. For example, SSRIs can affect sexual performance and libido among men. That in itself may lead to further depression.
- There are also depression treatment centers where sufferers can stay for a while. Therapists and doctors will provide the necessary treatments and keep track of their progress. They can also join depression support groups usually facilitated by a recognized depression counselor or expert.
If you are a man (or women) and you recognize that you have a problem with anxiety or depression, seek help!
Looking for an anxiety coach? Please reach out to contact me as I’ve helped dozens of people beat their anxiety and get back to living life.