Movember is all about men’s health! What started as a fashion statement moved forward to bring awareness about prostate and testicular cancer and now moving on to depression. Why? Keep on reading!
For so many years, depression has always been seen as a “woman’s disease.” Why? For so many years men have been taught not to cry, to be tough, to be strong, the imprinting goes on. “Real men don’t get emotional.”- That sort of thing. Showing tears or any sign of sadness was always dismissed as weakness from boys to men. The irony of it all is that fact is sad. It’s a sad reality. It’s a sad excuse for men not to seek help when they actually need it.
Clinical depression is a REAL brain disease and will affect you REGARDLESS OF YOUR GENDER.
Sadness isn’t the only sign of depression; in fact, you don’t have to be sad to be depressed. Symptoms of depression for men and women are similar but are expressed differently. Women typically feel sadness and worthlessness. Men, on the other hand, become withdrawn or become aggressive due to previously mentioned upbringing. Common symptoms of depression include changes in appetite, trouble sleeping, loss of interest and apathy.
How to recognize depression in men?
Men tend to deny having problems and keep things to themselves. As a result, men with depression are more likely to voice out physical concerns such as feeling tired all the time, insomnia etc. instead of the emotional symptoms. Instead of appearing depressed, they would appear more irritable and aggressive. This behaviour makes it difficult to tell if a man is suffering from clinical depression. Other red flags to look out for are if the man in question starts risky behaviour such as smoking, drinking alcohol, taking drugs etc.
Watch out especially for elderly men. With age, many men experience medical conditions such as cancer, stroke, heart disease etc. which will stress them out. Also, loss is a big factor, loss of friends, family, physical health, income and work. Once you end up retired, chances are you may lose a sense of purpose with no work to go to and no routine or schedule to follow.
What happens if depression is left untreated?
Depression is something that will slowly eat you away. It will start off slow perhaps you lose interest in a hobby, no longer want to go to work, avoid people, and neglect your health until one day you contemplate ending your life. Don’t reach this point. Seek help! Many men avoid talking about depression to friends and family until it’s too late.
Remember men, talking about your emotions and getting help, doesn’t make you less of a man. It actually goes to show how serious you are about your health. Talk to anyone! Talk to a therapist, your family, your best friend, your mentor, just talk about it! You don’t need to be a “tough guy” you need to be a real man. Real men take care of themselves so they, in turn, take care of their loved ones.
Now you know what all the big fuss is about with Movember! Men’s health has been neglected for far too long due to the whole “men are supposed to be strong” stigma. It’s time to bring awareness and stop men from dying younger!