This post’s title is taken from a video clip “Real Men, Real Depression” featuring Patrick McCathern, 1st Sergeant, US Air Force, Retired, and available here on The National Institute of Mental Health’s website.
Depression in Men often manifests itself differently. What ails men may not be recognized by them or their family or friends as depression. It may be mistaken as a sleeping problem or a digestive problem … or a character flaw. When a man has depression he has trouble with everyday life and loses interest in anything for weeks at a time.) He may be irritable, feel very tired, and lose interest in his work, family, or hobbies.
The tricky part of depression in men: They may not want to recognize, talk about, or acknowledge “it” or how they are feeling. (Please see my entry on Male Depression under These Illnesses in the menu section of my website for life experiences with my father’s depression.)
The quiet truth about depression is that it is very, very painful, and unending. And although women with depression more often attempt suicide, men are more likely to die by suicide.
HOW CAN I HELP A MAN WHO IS DEPRESSED? (Recommendations from The National Institute of Mental Health):
- Offer him support, understanding and encouragement. Be patient.
- Talk to him, but be sure to listen carefully.
- Never ignore comments about suicide, and report them to his therapist or doctor.
- Invite him out for walks, outings and other activities. If he says no, keep trying, but don’t push.
- Encourage him to report any concerns about medications to his health care provider.
- Ensure that he get to his doctor’s appointments.
- Remind him that with time and treatment, the depression will lift.
MEN WITH DEPRESSION ARE AT RISK FOR SUICIDE. IF YOU, OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS IN CRISIS GET HELP QUICKLY.
Call your doctor or 911 for emergency services.
Call the toll-free, 24-hour lifeline, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889