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5 False Premises About Depression in Men and What You Can Do About It (Wade Lang)

5 False Premises About Depression in Men and What You Can Do About It (Wade Lang) by Charles Sledge

This is a guest post by Wade Lang. Wade is an essayist at We Do Essay He incorporates nature’s beauty in his writing. Besides excellence, he puts his lovely wife and two kids at the center of his craft. He is fond of physical contact sports and considers South America as a haven for tourists. Here he writes about depression in men and what they can do about it. Enjoy.

Depression is one of the most incapacitating illnesses in the world. In 2013, it is reported that of the 41,000 reported cases of completed suicide, nearly 80% were men.

Men, by cultural norms, are expected to be strong-willed. However, just like any individual, they aren’t immune to mental illnesses like depression. Believe me when I say that even the most happy and outgoing personality (at least on the surface) can be hit by it. Just take Robin Williams as an example.

The following are the most prominent prejudices people have against men and depression, and the things men can do to alleviate anxiety caused by it.

False Premise #1: Men don’t get depressed; it’s just the normal blues.

Women are twice more likely to be hit by the depression bug than men according to Healthline Network’s published infographic. In connection with that, saying that men don’t get depressed is like saying Hillary Clinton never got a vote in the U.S. election.

Symptoms of depression in men vary. For instance, when my quality of sleep is breached and my surroundings appear less zestful, I know that my depression has been triggered.

What to do: If your mood has been consistently low for a period of at least 2 weeks, it may be time to consider seeing a physician for underlying medical conditions. If your physical examination results are all normal, you may be referred to a psychiatrist.

False Premise #2: Men can shrug off depression easier than women.

Depression’s intensity and length vary for everyone. However, that does not mean that men, in general, have that ‘invincibility cloak’ when it comes to depression.

While most women openly talk about depression and manifest it through different actions (e.g, frequent crying, not going out for days, seeking reassurance that everything will be ‘okay,’ etc.), men may not exhibit depressive symptoms and are likely to suppress it themselves. This, in turn, leads to innumerable cases of untold stories of sorrow and grief.

What to do: Be more vocal about your condition. It’s especially hard to open the issue when you’re dealing with it for the first time, but muster the courage to. You don’t need to tell the world; a handful of confidants who genuinely understand are enough.

False Premise #3: They simply ‘carry on.’

Since most men don’t like appearing vulnerable, they may mask their loneliness and fake their joy when depressed.

My recent major depression episode happened 3 months ago. Back then, all tasks, even the most mundane ones like climbing the stairs or getting dressed, took a lot of effort. When I gazed the mirror, all I saw was an alone person who’ll never have a bright future.

Ignoring and just going on with life – those were the two actions I thought were antidotes to depression, but eventually proved to be poisons. Doing these dragged me into a deeper hole. Why? It’s because I knew deep inside that I was faking it. Nothing seemed real to me that time.

What to do: Faking depression all the time is “soul-destroying.” There are times it’s better off to scream your lungs out and sulk in sadness (don’t do this on public though). Once you let it all out, you’ll feel lighter. Whatever it may be, choose something that doesn’t harm anyone (including yourself).

Wade Lang Guest Post by Charles Sledge

False Premise #4: Men’s lives have less drama.

This is the worst thing that you can say to a depressed man. Yes, men don’t fret about frizzy hair or red days, but there are other, innumerable things that play on their heads as a result of depression.

In fact, body dysmophic disorder, a type of depressive disorder that makes someone obsessed about their perceived flaws, is equally rampant on both males and females. You can really never tell if a man’s living through hell or just getting by with life because of depression.

What to do: Accept depression – that’s what all depressed men (and women) need to do. If you have diabetes or cancer, would you be ashamed to have regular check-ups with the doctor?

Though it’s easier said than done, consider depression as a manageable adversity. These are some of depression’s gifts:

  • You’ll be able to relate to other’s feelings better.
  • You’ll appreciate and value life much better post-depression.
  • You know how hard it is to be helpless. This enables you to empathize better when others are hit hard in life.
  • You get emotionally stronger after each depressive episode.

False Premise #5: Men can just snap out of it in an instant if they “want to.”

This is yet another misconception in depression, particularly in men. It’s not something that disappears hours after you take Zoloft or other SSRI antidepressant meds. Its spell usually takes a considerable amount of time to disappear. Others claim that they’ve overcame depression with sheer willpower, but those are very rare occasions.

If left untreated, depression can lead to suicide or other acts of personal harm.

What to do: Give yourself time to heal. When I say this, don’t see depression as a personal inadequacy. If you’re not in the best mood to work, reconsider your thoughts. If you can’t really go outside and be productive, understand that it’s depression speaking, not you.

To end this post, men’s mental health is of utmost importance too just like how they’re trying to get fit. Men tend to be sturdy amidst all personal mishaps, but once the limits of depression are reached, it may prove to be very harmful. Nevertheless, social support, medication, and psychotherapy are all aimed at making depression more bearable.

Enjoyed the post? Wish to write one of your own? Check out the form here and let me know. I’m always looking to promote good sites to my readers.

Charles Sledge

  • Johnny Grube

    Depression directly comes from thought, and feeling out
    of control, I grew up fucking wanting to kill myself because
    of physical and mental abuse, I lashed out as a violent
    kid and man.

    Grow up watching domestic drunking violence on a regular
    basis, it makes you a different person.

    I started training at 12 years old to toughen
    my body and to survive in a violent home.

    You dont know what its like until you are woke up
    at 3 in the morning with a beating for absolutely
    nothing other than being born.

    I no longer use that time in my life as a negative, because
    it made me double tough.

    Then having a kid at 17 was a life changer, I was so
    fucked up at 8 months of my daughters life I was shipped
    away because of violent behavior, not jail; but far enough
    away that I couldn’t harm anyone.

    So feeling out of control and no way out causes depression
    at least for me. What changed for me was reading as much
    as possible, knowing I am no longer controlled by anyone
    but me.

    Could go on, but depression can be overcome, once you
    know something is fucked up!

    As always great article.

  • Arthur Ritic

    Good article. Depression is a serious illness, and should be taken seriously. Years ago an acquaintance was acting is a pretty strange way, which to my regret I chose to ignore. He managed to get into my flat one Saturday night and came into my bedroom to talk, seemingly oblivious to the fact that I had a girl in bed with me. I was pretty freaked out and was just anxious to get rid of him as fast as I could. On Monday night he told another friend of mine that he was depressed. My friend told him to have a few drinks and lighten up everything would seem better tomorrow. The next day he went back home to his garage, covered himself in petrol and burned himself alive. After his death we discovered he had a long history of depressive illness. It taught me a hard lesson about mental illness among men.

    • Sorry to hear that Arthur. I had someone close to me with a similar experience with a different turnout. But know families and friends who had the same thing happen. It’s a very serious thing.