Men and depression; these subjects are linked more and more. But in a good way! That is to say that more men are getting better at admitting their feelings of depression and persistent low moods. Slowly but surely, the stigma about men not speaking of such things is fading. Men from all walks of life are finally sharing their struggles.
Unfortunately, the conversation sometimes starts to dry up when it’s time to talk about actual treatment. At that point, denial and avoidance can enter back in.
Thus, we often see that, despite their initial mental health disclosure, the pervasive sense of discomfort regarding mental health care keeps the link between men and depression as tight as ever.
Sadly, shame or stigma still persists regarding therapy, perceived weakness, and men’s willingness to seek help early on.
What about you (or a struggling man you know)?
Are you aware that dark moods are robbing you of the life you want, but still feel reluctant to seek help? Why have you waited so long for relief?
Let’s explore what might be holding you back:
Men and Depression: Why Do You Wait to Get Treatment?
1. You’re “tired,” “run-down,” under the weather,” etc.
In other words, you’re willing to be anything but depressed. To be fair, culturally, that’s much more acceptable. It likely feels much less vulnerable and much more safe to claim a temporary physical malady like a cold or insomnia than ongoing mental or emotional suffering.
2. You attempt to distract depression away
Masking depression with a wide variety of routines, habits, and behavior patterns is pretty common in men. Marathon movie watching, social media stints, video gaming, and more can distract from low moods and difficult for emotions for a while.
However, over time, this can also lead to then low self-esteem, disconnection, and dissatisfaction that further fuel depressive thoughts and behavior.
3. You claim you like living the life of a loner
The hero of countless movie scripts shows men on the range, men in the city, or men in outer space navigating the world on their own. They manage emotions with stoicism and bravado, complaining to no one.
Except many times those guys are actually miserable. And the truth is, they (and you) don’t have to be.
If you feel depressed, isolating will not make you feel better. In fact, untreated depression can drive you deeper into pain and loneliness, all the while deceiving you into embracing a harmful, “hermit” identity.
4. You embrace busyness instead of healing
When it comes to men and depression, many push back with workaholic ambition. This serves to hide low mood, sadness, and anger behind mission and passion.
People around you likely see you as highly functional and committed. Thereby, you effectively put off dealing with your pain and emotional needs for the sake of your obligations. Unfortunately, burnout and exhaustion can eventually make this pattern unbearable and give depression a dangerous foothold.
5. You self-medicate, numb, and risk your health
Substance abuse in response to tough feelings is quite common in men. And quite damaging to the path toward depression treatment.
Drinking and/or recreational drugs delay healthy awareness and meaningful socializing. In fact, addiction may result, compounding your problems and making depression even harder to recognize and treat.
Don’t Wait Any Longer for Relief
Can you relate to any of the above reasons for resisting treatment? You have plenty of company if you do. Discussions regarding men and depression are far fewer conversations than those had about women’s struggles. But don’t believe that you should hold back on your pursuit of relief.
Your best first step? To seek professional support and guidance now. A well-trained, compassionate, and discreet therapist can provide a variety of means for treatment. It’s time to feel better.
Please read more about depression treatment and start overcoming, dark thoughts, and self-sabotage as soon as possible. Let’s work through this together. I’m an experienced depression therapist and here to help, so please contact me soon for a consultation.