Are you tired and irritable all the time? Have you lost interest in our work, family, or hobbies? Are you having trouble sleeping and feeling angry or aggressive, sad or worthless? Have you been feeling like this for weeks or months?
If so, you may have depression!The National Institutes for Mental Health describe Depression as follows:
“Everyone feels sad or irritable sometimes, or has trouble sleeping occasionally. But these feelings and troubles usually pass after a couple of days. When a man has depression, he has trouble with daily life and loses interest in anything for weeks at a time.
Both men and women get depression. But men can experience it differently than women. Men may be more likely to feel very tired and irritable, and lose interest in their work, family or hobbies. They may be more likely to have difficulty sleeping than women who have depression. And although women with depression are more likely to attempt suicide, men are more likely to die by suicide.
Many men do not recognize, acknowledge, or seek help for their depression. They may be reluctant to talk about how they are feeling. But depression is a real and treatable illness. It can affect any man at any age. With the right treatment, most men with depression can get better and gain back their interest in work, family and hobbies.
Jimmy Brown, a firefighter made this comment:
“My daily routine was shot. I didn’t have the energy to do anything. I got up because the dog had to be walked and my wife needed to go to work. The day would go by and I didn’t know where it went. I wanted to get back to normal. I just wanted to be myself again.”
Rene Ruballo, a Police Officer made this comment:
“I lost interest with the kids and doing things that we used to do….they’d ask their mother, ‘Why is Daddy not getting up and not wanting to do anything with us?’ ‘Did we do anything?’ They didn’t do anything to me. I just didn’t want to do anything.”
Several factors may contribute to depression in men.
GENES – men with a family history of depression may be more likely to develop it than those whose family members do not have the illness.
BRAIN CHEMISTRY and HORMONES – the brains of people with depression look different on scans than those of people without the illness. Also, the hormones that control emotions and mood can affect brain chemistry.
STRESS – loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship or any stressful situation may trigger depression in some men.
Most of the time, it is likely a combination of these factors.
Steve Lappen, a Writer comments:
“It affects the way you think. It affects the way you feel. It affects the way you love…It’s just a blanket that covers everything…and it’s one that’s just so asphyxiating. And at times you just say it’s enough already. It just feels like enough.”
Patrick McCathern, a first sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, Retired, comments:
“It starts slowly and the only person you’re talking to is yourself. You’re lost. It’s dark, the pain is twenty-four seven…you just want it to end…I’d drink and…I tried to numb my head…but you have to deal with it. It doesn’t just go away.”