How to Cope with Male Depression
Coping with male depression can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. The simple act of asking for help can be challenging for many men, but understanding that depression is likely to become more severe and intense when you don’t seek treatment can be a motivator.
Untreated depression can cause conflict in literally every aspect of life. From your professional world, to interpersonal relationships, to personal safety, treating your depression through therapy, medication, or a combination of the two can be the first step you take toward a healthier, happier version of yourself.
Finding Treatment for Male Depression
If you think you’re depressed and you’re ready to get help, you can start with your family doctor or healthcare provider. Online resources can be a valuable place to go as well. The National Institute of Mental Health has a great list of resources. Support groups, individual therapy, and self-help techniques can all be important aspects of your healing.
Certain types of evidence-based talk therapy (also known as psychotherapy) are better for depression treatment than others. Some therapy techniques include:
There are several antidepressant medications that can treat depression in men. It’s important to note that antidepressant medication can take several weeks before it begins working. Some have side effects such as difficulty sleeping, headache or nausea, nervousness, sexual problems, and agitation. It’s important to note that antidepressants aren’t the only medication to treat depression. There are different types that you can talk to a doctor about.
The older medications that a lot of men avoided due to sexual side effects was an imitation. Availability of a new generation of medications can safely address the depression symptoms experienced by men without those concerns.
Brain stimulation therapy
Brain stimulation therapies are still sometimes used today. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be used in severe cases where other forms of treatment have not provided relief. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is another form of brain stimulation that’s approved to treat depression.
When you decide to treat your depression, you’re showing a sign of incredible strength. You’re making an investment in your own mental health, and that’s something you should be proud of.
“Asking for help when you’re experiencing some of these symptoms is an important step — depression is treatable. Reaching out to your primary care doctor or a licensed mental health professional can make a significant difference. You do not have to suffer alone.”
If you think you or someone you know has depression, take the first step by using our depression test to learn more.