Depression is generally regarded as a “feminine” disorder in the media, but recently it’s been found that nearly seven percent of American men (six million!) suffer from depression and millions more endure the disorder silently. Sometimes men don’t recognize the symptoms, or they are too embarrassed to seek help for what they may see as a disease from only which women suffer.
It helps to get a male perspective on things, to give insight on what another man is feeling. Male companionship can make one feel less scared. There are plenty of great books out there on the male perspective of depression. Identifying symptoms can also ease tension and assist in understanding how men act differently with depression than do women. Typically, women cry and talk about their bad feelings while men get into fights, scream at their wives or become angered by little inconveniences.
Limiting alcohol also makes an enormous difference. Drinking away worries doesn’t go anywhere, and alcohol is a depressant. Reducing the stress in their work environment can help improve depression symptoms. But it can be hard for many men to choose between better mental health and a successful job with a corner office.
Finding a healthy outlet – exercise, sports, etc. – can be beneficial. While of course it’s recommended that anyone facing depression get proper counseling, studies have shown that men feel happier when they can retreat into a safe corner of the world (like a “man cave”) and just do their thing. Working on damaged relationships – like their marriage – can also help lift men out of depression. Men can feel like they need to leave a good marriage to replace their emptiness with something else, when really working on it with their partner can improve both partners well-being.