The month of June is Men’s Health month. One of the most important aspects of men’s health that we need to contend with is the fact that 78% of the suicides that occur in the U.S.are done by men. There are many reasons for this to be true and we will start with the most important. Men are told from a very young age that they are not allowed to cry. They are told to “buck up” and similar types of messages. As a result they learn from a very young age that they are not supposed to show their true feelings. What they are supposed to do is bury it and pretend like all is fine.
The main problem with this is that repressed emotions will come along and feel much worse then if allowed to be expressed and released. So, if you are a man and you are feeling sad, allow yourself to feel the feelings. Do stay away from alcohol, as many men turn to, to no longer have to deal with the inner voices of depreciative content. Alcohol being a depressive drug will depress you further.
Here are some ideas that you can use to lift your spirits:
- Listen to music that is uplifting
- Call a friend that has a great sense of humor to get you laughing
- Change your posture from looking down and being hunched over to standing upright and looking up a bit.
- Exercise will release endorphins which will also make you feel much better.
- Get out in the sunshine because that allow one to feel more positive as well.
- Do a favor for someone else, especially someone who would never expect you to do it for them, and their gratitude will bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart.
If none of the above suggestions help and the symptoms go on for more than two weeks, help needs to be found to help deal with the problem before it spirals out of control.
Men do experience depression a bit differently than women do. Here is a list of symptoms to be on the look for:
- Problems with concentration or productivity
- Increased irritability or frustration
3. Arguing with others
4. Conflict or fighting with others
5. Violent behavior
6. Increased work hours
7.Abuse of drugs and or alcohol
8.Isolation from others
10. Increased complaints about physical health (headaches, digestive, or pain)
11. Impulsiveness or taking undo risks like driving the car way too fast
12.Loss of interest in those things once enjoyed
13. Conflict about how he thinks he should be a man versus how he is acting
14.Thoughts of suicide.
Men too can experience postpartum depression which is now known as Paternal Postnatal depression or PPND. It tends to develop more gradually then in women over the child’s first year. The symptoms of the depression will be similar to those mentioned above. The worse thing a man can do with PPND is to pretend that it isn’t happening, because depression of any sort can degenerate to the point of suicide if not taken care of in a timely fashion. Why take a permanent solution to a temporary problem? There is help for you, you just need to seek it out.
One more thing that I would like to make very clear here. Just because someone looks to be experiencing “depression” of the mental health sort, there are many reasons a person may be feeling depressed when in fact it is a physiological problem that is behind the problem. Hormonal issues, side effects of medications, malabsorption of nutrients due to leaky gut or celiac disease, and many others. You can find out a more complete list by looking at the article that Donna N. wrote back in May of 2010 here: Are You Truly Depressed? Maybe It is Something Else Entirely.
Sometimes it can be a bit challenging to figure out the culprit behind the negative feelings and lethargic manner of being. However, it is worth figuring out to have a life that feels much more happy and fulfilled, isn’t it?
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