There are certain topics with guys that are not discussed or usually overlooked. Being depressed is one of them. Sure, we all get down every once in a while but not usually depressed. Many guys may miss the signs as they don’t see themselves as depressed “all the time”. Besides, depression has a societal stigma that guys usually want to avoid. “Keep your head low and push through” may be what we hear. “Suck it up cupcake” or “be a man” are other sayings…all of which don’t help at all. Many times guys may see depression as a long term state of heavy sadness or like they’re “crazy”. However, it is usually the people close to them in their lives that pick up on their persistent low mood.
Perhaps you as a guy are experiencing some depression but are not sure what it is. There may be times you mope around the house or lack motivation to do stuff. You may find yourself getting irritated at the “little” things or even snapping at your partner, kids or co-workers. Possibly you may go as far as yelling profanity, throwing things and maybe even become nasty towards others. Further, you may have thoughts going through your mind wishing you weren’t in this world anymore. You may scare yourself…”this isn’t me” you say. Perhaps you ask yourself, “What’s going on with me?”, “why am I like this?”
If you are feeling at a loss or stuck, we can help. You are not alone in what you are experiencing. Many times we have guys (from teenagers, young to older men) express their disgust, doubts, frustrations, and sadness with us. There is hope in getting through this. But what is “this” really?
Signs and Symptoms
Depression is more than just feeling down or sad. The following is a list of common signs and symptoms of depression. Each one of these may or may not be as significant to you as to others but are worth noting. These include:
- Being grumpy with others
- Expressing anger, irritability, or aggressiveness
- Feeling blah, sad, “empty,” or a bit hopeless
- Having a loss of interest in hobbies, fun activities, work, family
- Feeling restless, nervous, anxious, or “on edge”
- Lack of sexual desire or performance
- Angry with or hard on yourself
- Overwhelming fear of the unknown (or future)
- Not being able to concentrate or remember certain details
- Feeling lethargic, very tired, not sleeping well, or sleeping too much
- Overeating or not eating what you need to eat
- Thoughts of suicide or trying to injure or kill yourself
- Physical aches or pains such as muscle tension, headaches, cramps, or digestive issues
- Not able to fully do your job, or difficulty caring for family, or doing other important activities
- Using alcohol or drugs to ignore or numb your emotional pain
- Difficulty making basic daily decisions or making rash decisions
- Withdrawing from family, friends or becoming isolated from others
Generally, how a guy can figure out if he’s depressed is if he notices (or especially those close to him notices) these signs or symptoms. They are shown in the change of behavior, habits, or from your body telling you (as in some of those listed above).
Possible Causes of Depression
Sometimes we have signs and symptoms which may be related to other things. However, exploring certain causes may help in making things a bit more clear for depression.
- Increased or continual increasing stress or life demands
- Low self-worth or low self-esteem
- Loss (either by death or change) of relationship (spouse, partner, pet, friend, child), job, health, finances
- Life changes
- Physiological changes such as hormonal (e.g., testosterone) or other biological issues
- Being “stuck in your head” or overthinking a lot of stressful stuff (past, present, future)
- Ongoing negative self-talk
- Ignoring the effects of how your stress or loss/es are impacting your thoughts, emotions, body, and attitude
Why Get Counseling?
I’ll get over It. There are many times we may believe that we’ll “get over” the depression but it seems to stay with us. Counseling is generally short-term though may depend on many variables. Doing it alone may lead to it lasting a lot longer than you want.
I’ll get help sometime. Putting off getting help is like hearing a noise in your car’s engine and believing it will go away. Ignore the problem long enough and it most likely will get worse. Depression within you is signaling something is going on that needs a look at.
It costs too much. We have found that many times our clients don’t consider what their lives would be like without depression. They just “live with it” until it becomes unbearable. Think of the things you could do or interactions you can have without feeling depressed. Consider it as an investment into your well-being. The cost of being stuck vs being more hopeful.
Here for you
As counselors we are here to walk alongside of you through the depression to hope and healing. Send us a request at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call 520-292-9750 to learn more or to set up an appointment.