How to help a man overcome depression
It is good to remind them of your willingness to help and support them and to encourage them to open up. Often hidden from plain sight, depression can wreak havoc on our lives. We may dismiss it as a bad mood. We may weigh other priorities against our suffering. We may be simply unable to reach up out of the depths to do anything about it. People with depression who have caring friends and family around them are the fortunate ones.
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How to Help Someone With Depression
Caregiving is tough. It's one thing to see a loved one in the dirty trenches of illness; it is a whole other to jump headfirst into that trench with them. Caring for a man who is suffering from depression can be even harder, because depression isn't often seen - it's felt. Many experts disagree - noting that depression is just less diagnosed in men. This makes sense considering men commit suicide nearly four times more frequently than women due to their symptoms being overlooked and untreated.
Even if the data is correct, there are still six million of my fellow men who are experiencing some level of depression at any given time. Six million fathers, husbands, boyfriends, brothers, and uncles living day by day wondering both when the pain is going to end and how to break through the crushing stigma of depression.
The truth of this can be seen in one man's story, and to keep his identity anonymous, I will call him John. Three years ago, John's son was killed, and understandably, he fell into depression. What is interesting is that John is a licensed clinical social worker L. W and has spent several years working with populations suffering from depression and a variety of other mental health conditions.
He was no stranger to depression's devastating effects or coping methods but, as he found out, helping others isn't the same as helping yourself. During the time of his son's death, he was in a relationship with a woman who didn't know how to help him. She called family members asking "what is wrong with him? It was not, and their relationship ended.
Eventually he beat the depression through the support of family and friends. Although, if his girlfriend would have handled the situation differently or had been more informed, things might have gone better for them and their relationship may have lasted. My point isn't to paint a hopeless picture but rather to show there is immense opportunity for change even if it means that as a caregiver you could have to balance your way through a mine field of defensiveness, denial, anger, and despondence.
Here are 4 tips to help you do it unscathed. Tip 1 Understand His Depression "There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds. One of the largest misconceptions about depression is that it is a feeling - which is part of the reason men are so reluctant to talk about it. Yes, it is a feeling but it is also much more.
Not only does it effect people on an emotional level but it also drains them physically and psychologically. The chemical imbalance in the brain slowly causes the body to shut down. That is why if your partner is depressed, he will be lacking the motivation to hit the gym or to pursue a once cherished hobby.
With this in mind, the first thing you can do to help is make sure he is eating a balanced diet and is exercising. Buy fresh food, avoid stocking the fridge with highly caffeinated products and booze, and see if he will go walking with you. These are all easy and are tremendously helpful, but won't necessarily combat the depression itself. For that, we go to Tip 2. Tip 2 Acknowledging His Depression "Never ignore the elephant in the room.
That's rude; play with it and introduce it. Confronting his depression will be tough but is absolutely necessary if you are going to help reverse its course. What you're going to be doing here isn't confronting him and telling him he is depressed. Trust me, he knows he depressed or at least that something is wrong. The goal is to show him that you acknowledge he is going through something and that asking for help is okay.
I've broken it down into four steps -. Tell him you noticed he has been "feeling down" lately. I would avoid using the word "depressed" because it could trigger the walls to go straight up. Bring up examples - but do so in a gentle way. If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your own mask first, and then assist the other person. If you've ever been on an airplane you've likely heard some iteration these words.
While growing up they confused me because it seemed like it would make more sense to help the helpless and vulnerable first, but with age I realized that if you are incapacitated you won't be of any help to anyone. The same goes for caring for a man with depression.
You need to secure your own mental stability before you can help him. The difference in a situation with male depression as opposed to other diseases is that the frustration and stress isn't going to come in the traditional way.
You won't be stretched thin providing medical assistance to him or running back and forth from a hospital. But, rather the emotional connection you have with your partner will be taxed. Because of the nature of depression he won't be as connected or invested in your relationship as he was when he was healthy. He might become more combative or more withdrawn, depending on how the depression affects him. Don't get pulled into this or take it personally. Do what you need to do to stay healthy.
Connect with friends, exercise, or shop - you have an identity outside of your relationship. Getting professional medical personnel involved is the most critical step as it is the most effective way to cure the depression.
I understand it can be incredibly hard to get a guy to see doctor, for even the most routine of checkups, let alone getting him to see a therapist or psychologist for depression. Here are some ways to make it easier:. See the right doctor - Ask if you can set up an appointment with your family doctor so they can go over the problem.
It will be an easier push for him to see a family doc as oppose to a "shrink. Depression is devastating, insidious, it can break up relationships and ruin friendships, but it doesn't have to. With the right tools and support, it can be beaten. Helping a man who is in the throes of depression is nothing to be laughed at; I applaud you and hope the tips above will be helpful. News U. HuffPost Personal Video Horoscopes. Newsletters Coupons. Follow Us.
Part of HuffPost Wellness. All rights reserved. Huffington Post. Approach him where he is comfortable, at home or maybe your favorite date spot. Make sure you have privacy and enough time to talk at least an hour. Explain your mutual goal - you BOTH want him to feel better. Depressed men feel isolated in their pain and hopelessness. Explain that asking for help is a sign of strength not of weakness.
Ask him to do it for you or your family. Tell him it will bring you peace of mind if he sees someone. Call ahead - Tell the doctor what his symptoms have been. Your testimony might bring up things your partner could miss or will neglect to share. Suggest a correction. Newsletter Sign Up. Successfully Subscribed!
Men and Depression
Men and women both experience depression but their symptoms can be very different. Because men who are depressed may appear to be angry or aggressive instead of sad, their families, friends, and even their doctors may not always recognize the anger or aggression as depression symptoms. In addition, men are less likely than women to recognize, talk about, and seek treatment for depression.
This guest article from YourTango was written by Julia Flood. Maybe he has expressed hopelessness or guilt. You have noticed a loss of interest in his usual activities, concentration trouble, or changes in his sleep pattern. All these could be signs that your man is struggling with some form of depression.
How to help someone with depression
Find out more about cookies and your privacy in our policy. Read about how Sara dealt with the overwhelming experience of helping her depressed boyfriend, and the lessons she learnt in the process. Seeing a loved one go through a hard time always impacts you in some way or another. You watch them hang their head and cry a little, and you pat them awkwardly on the back and tell them it will be okay, because you feel sad for them and want them to be okay. But you then carry on with your own life. When my boyfriend of two years started to get a bit emotional, I told him it was hormones, or the stress of exams, and I said I would hold his hand whenever he felt sad. One Sunday about a month later, I was sitting at home watching the telly when he called and asked to come over.
4 Strategies to Help Men Get Through Depression
Standing on the sidelines when a partner battles depression can feel like a helpless experience. You might feel confused, frustrated, and overwhelmed. You are not alone. Depression is an isolating illness that can negatively impact relationships and leave loved ones feeling helpless and afraid.
Caregiving is tough. It's one thing to see a loved one in the dirty trenches of illness; it is a whole other to jump headfirst into that trench with them. Caring for a man who is suffering from depression can be even harder, because depression isn't often seen - it's felt.
4 Ways To Help a Man Fight Depression
As men, we like to think of ourselves as strong and in control of our emotions. When we feel hopeless or overwhelmed by despair we often deny it or try to cover it up. But depression is a common problem that affects many of us at some point in our lives, not a sign of emotional weakness or a failing of masculinity. It affects millions of men of all ages and backgrounds, as well as those who care about them—spouses, partners, friends, and family.
In general, men tend to put off getting any kind of help because they think they're supposed to be tough, self-reliant, able to manage pain and take charge of situations. This can make it hard for men to acknowledge they have any health problems, let alone a mental health problem. Depression is a serious and common condition which won't get better by itself. If you had a broken arm or a deep cut on your foot, you wouldn't expect that to heal without medical help. It's the same with depression. Men are more likely to recognise and describe the physical symptoms of depression such as feeling tired or losing weight than women.
Depression in men
Editor's Note: Every Monday, Lori Gottlieb answers questions from readers about their problems, big and small. Have a question? Email her at dear. My boyfriend and I are in our early 20s, and we recently moved in together after being in a long-distance relationship for four years. I can barely get a normal conversation.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database. If someone you love has depression, you may wonder how you can help. You may even experience a range of difficult feelings of your own, such as worry, disappointment, and anger.
Depression in Men
Back to Mental health and wellbeing. Feeling down or depressed from time to time is normal. But if these feelings last 2 weeks or more, or start to affect everyday life, this can be a sign of depression. Depression can develop slowly.
Male depression is a serious medical condition, but many men try to ignore it or refuse treatment. Learn the signs and symptoms — and what to do. Do you feel irritable, isolated or withdrawn? Do you find yourself working all the time?