When you hear the word ‘depression’, what kind of picture does your mind conjure up?
Depression can cause many more symptoms than low mood, or loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities. It can also manifest as an inability to feel pleasure, and changes in appetite and sleeping patterns, for starters.
Certain symptoms that are more common in men can also be confusing. For example, if a man finds himself becoming more irritable than usual, he might berate himself for having a short fuse, and see that as a personal failing. The same goes for an increase in alcohol use.
And while depression is supposedly more common among women than men, it may be that men are simply less likely to seek help, even if they do recognize that something’s not right. After all, our society seems to frown on men showing any feelings other than anger.
So what are some more clues that the man in your life may be developing depression? And if you suspect that’s the case, what should you do?
A big thank-you to Dr. John Ogrodniczuk, director of the psychotherapy program in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia, and founder of HeadsUpGuys.org, a resource that supports men with depression.