Anxiety and depression are some of the common mental health issues that a majority of the population is dealing with today. Be that as it may, men are less likely to be diagnosed with anxiety and depression than women. More or less, men do suffer from such conditions and believe it or not, dealing with them and seeking help become more complex for them considering the prevalence of toxic masculinity society has imposed on men.
If you’re one of them, then this is one of the must-read articles for you. When a man suffers from anxiety and depression, there are various do’s and don’ts that he needs to follow. This article will help you with just them.
Causes of anxiety and depression in men:
Psychologists and psychoanalysts have not been able to pinpoint concrete causes of anxiety and depression in men. There are a plethora of causes that vary from one person to another. However, it’s important to know that genetically induced anxiety requires avoidance and repetition over time to be a major part of your problem.
Avoidance and repetition mean that if you avoid going to an event or meeting a person out of fear or nervousness, you might temporarily pacify your anxiety. This might push to repeat this behaviour over and over again. Before you realise it, you will unravel that you are diagnosed with anxiety.
Apart from genetics, anxiety and depression can also be caused by social isolation, physical health problems, relationship problems, substance abuse and employment problems.
Signs of anxiety in men:
Anxiety in women might manifest in the form of restlessness, agitation, a sinking feeling in the stomach, etc. On the other hand, anxiety in men is more often than not, manifested in the form of aggression and stone-cold behaviour.
In addition, when a man suffers anxiety, he might also experience headaches, insomnia, muscle aches, substance abuse, strained relationships and irritability.
Signs of depression in men:
Contrary to common perception, male depression is not characterised by isolation or sadness. It manifests in the form of temeritous risk-taking, substance abuse, aggression, irritability and stone-cold behaviour. These are some of the common and general symptoms of male depression.
Reduction in sex drive, drastic changes in appetite, apathy and changes in sleep patterns are some of the physical symptoms of depression in men.
Treatment for male depression and anxiety:
One of the biggest steps to deal with anxiety and depression in men is to seek professional help. Although the society that you are a part of right now may not support you to consult a therapist for your problems, you need to know that the concept of masculinity is extremely toxic and is stripping off your basic human rights.
Seeking a psychologist will help you to diagnose whether you have anxiety or depression and to what degree. This will help you to manage and take the necessary steps for the same.
Once you know what you have to work on in the future, you can make necessary lifestyle changes such as spending more time with your family and friends. Talk to them about your issues and you’ll realise that it’s not a matter to be ashamed of.
In addition to this, make sure that you’re spending at least 25 minutes exercising each day. This will help you to maintain focus and attention in your mind. Make sure that you are getting enough sleep and consuming a healthy and balanced diet. If you’ve been drinking alcohol and consuming drugs, remember to reduce it gradually. They will not help you to reduce anxiety and depression; only worsen it.
These are some of the changes that you can willingly make in your life. In addition to this, cognitive behaviour therapy is also one of the best professional therapies that you can opt for to treat anxiety and depression.
Sometimes, your doctor might also prescribe you antidepressants which will help you treat both anxiety and depression.
Here’s what you can do when a man suffers from anxiety and depression
The effectiveness of the above-mentioned techniques varies from person to person. You need to opt for the approach that suits you best. For instance, if you feel that exercising half an hour a day helps you in focusing on the necessary things in life, then do that. However, do make sure that you stay committed to it and follow it without any unnecessary breaks.
Apart from this, make sure that you take some out of your schedule to indulge in the activities that you love to do. It may be your hobbies or your favourite pastime. Whatever it is, just remember to do them every single day. It is one of the ways to respect your opinion and choices.
It’s normal to be addicted to drugs and alcohol when one is suffering from anxiety and depression. However, these addictive substances will only provide you relief for an ephemeral period. In the long run, you’ll have to pay more consequences than you can ever imagine in your life.
How can you help your friend in such a situation:
If your friend is going through a similar phrase, make sure that you support him and strip off all the shallow beliefs that society has conditioned you to believe. Be compassionate towards your friend and be patient. They are fighting their own battle which is hard enough for them already. So don’t forget to shower some love on them.
Try to point out positive things in him which will help him see the good that he possesses. This will make him more optimistic in life and grow. Push him when he feels stuck and nudge him to make lifestyle changes. If he feels ashamed about his condition, then persuade him to change his opinion and help him to view the larger picture.
When a man suffers from anxiety and depression, his life is a turmoil for him. Every day becomes very hard to bear and that is why he needs a friend who is understanding, empathetic and supportive. So, be that for him and help him change his life.