‘Disturbed men behave in disturbing ways’
In identifying and
describing masculine depression as separate or different to other forms of
depression is not to justify, absolve, condone or excuse men from the responsibility
of their behaviours or the damage done to families, women, children, and other
men. Depression can be brought about by conflicting needs, conflicting social
forces and expectations. Counselling can help men acknowledge, identify, recognise
and address unhealthy aspects of their behaviours, and in doing so help them
find healthy ways to express their humanity, have healthy relationships and
lead a fulfilling life.
Many men experience “depression without sadness”.
Some of the symptoms of this kind of depression include severeanxiety, physical discomfort,sleepdisorders, and diminished energy and self-confidence as some of its primary symptoms.
Men are more likely to feel angry, irritable, and frustrated more commonly than women, rather than expressing sadness when depressed.
Men tend to cope with depression differently than women.
Instead of withdrawing from the world, men may act recklessly or develop a compulsive interest in work or a new hobby. Instead of crying, men may engage in violent behaviour.
Men are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.
When in the midst of a depression, perhaps to find relief from the pain of depressive feelings. This can make it difficult to determine whether a problem is specifically alcohol-or-drug-related or whether it is primarily depression.
Men often report physical symptoms more often than women.
Headaches, joint pain, backache, dizziness, chest pains and digestive problems. However, they are often unaware that these symptoms are linked to depression.
Men experience a higher suicide rate which is a worldwide phenomenon.
The reasons why men are more likely to kill themselves are complex, but risk factors include unemployment, social isolation, chronic illness, and certain occupations that have access to the means of suicide. A worrying recent trend is the increasing rate of suicide
among younger men, a trend not seen among young women. The majority of these men have not asked for help before their deaths.
Men can find it hard to connect and talk about their ‘feelings’
This can be down to role expectations ‘boys’ don’t cry’.
Some questions to
- Lose your temper easily.
- Get into arguments at home after a bad day at work.
- Behaved aggressively after a significant loss, e.g. [job, relationship etc.]
- Engage in activities that have a high potential for physical injury.
- Drink too much or use drugs.
- Feel emotionally numb, cold or overly logical.
- Distract yourself through work or sports.
- Does the breakup of an intimate relationship make you miss work, drink heavily or become desperate to find a new relationship?
- Do your children fear you when you are in a bad mood?
- Does your family hide important information from you to keep the peace?
- Do you push, hit or emotionally abuse your partner, come close to or feel strong urges to do so.
If yes, are these behaviours affecting the quality of ‘your’ life, ‘your’ health, relationships with others,and others relationships with you?
Reference; the Pain Behind the Mask.
Overcoming Masculine Depression.