Depression in males
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Until now, depression is as confusing as ever for a lot of people, and it still sparks debate on whether it is something made up by the human brain or a serious illness that affects the mental health of a person. But, however one understands it, we can't ignore the fact that it's the number one reason for suicide all over the world. With that fact alone, depression is an issue we can't keep ignore. When you are in a relationship with a boyfriend who is depressed, it's understandable that it's a struggle to keep the relationship harmonious. You will suddenly feel lonely and dejected because there will be inevitable instances where he will be ignoring you, or maybe even saying a few hurtful things towards you. A depressed boyfriend won't be able to function well at home, work, and most especially, in life. It's going to be a tough time for the women who are involved in this kind of relationship. However, depression is never someone's fault. It is a mental condition that just happens. Someone who is going through it needs a lot of understanding, help, and care. Also, depression is completely different from just feeling sad and disappointed. It's normal for any person to feel down at times but they usually go back to feeling normal after some alone time. Depression never works that way. It will cripple those who suffer from it because it will change your way of thinking. Men who are depressed have more chances of committing suicide than women also suffer from this condition. This is because men tend to keep depressing thoughts hidden rather than seeking help, so as not to show weakness. As a woman, you're probably wondering how you can handle a boyfriend who is depressed.
Symptoms of a depressed boyfriend
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Men tend to be distant and less likely to open up about their emotions, so it might be difficult for us to know if they're okay or not. However, there are symptoms such as low moods, losing interested in things they once loved so much, fatigue, problems in concentrating, etc. But while these symptoms are what we often see with depression in general, there are others that are more often seen in depressed men and that people keep ignoring.
Experiencing physical pain
Males with depression show more physical symptoms than depression in females. A depressed male would experience pain such as backache, constant headaches, and digestive disorders. Although these may seem like normal physical pain we all experience, these signs of depression will not respond to normal treatment.
In a relationship, it can't be helped if one sometimes get angered by their partner from time to time. However, it's already unhealthy if it keeps happening and it's time to consider if there's something wrong so you can seek help. A depressed male would be frequently irritable, would lose his sense of humor, would be sensitive to even the littlest criticism, and can become abusive and controlling.
Overly hasty behavior
A depressed man may show reckless behavior as if saying he desires self-destruction. He may develop a death wish so his interests may change, such as engaging in dangerous sports. Depressed men tend to do things without thinking carefully so they might abuse themselves by drinking too much and using harmful drugs.
Disinterest in sexual intercourse
Women might possibly misunderstand if their boyfriends are sometimes distant and keep ignoring their attempts to initiate sex. But you should know that this is one of the symptoms that can help us determine that our boyfriends are going through depression. Impotence or erectile dysfunction can be one of the triggers of depression or a side effect of antidepressant medication.
The way a depressed male thinks could also be one of the strongest symptoms. For a normal person, it may not make sense why other people find it difficult to think positive. Even when we try our hardest to give them our positive energy, their pessimistic instincts always prevail. Though it may be annoying at times, we have to be extra understanding and we have to keep in mind that this is not within their control. When you say nice things to them, their mind turns it into something negative and a problem of their own. They might even treat it as a personal attack or an insult sometimes. So, when this happens, choose your words carefully and be patient in explaining to him that you meant only positive things. If you have a depressed boyfriend, you should prepare yourself to handle him during his bad days. Your relationship might be on and off. A depressed person believes he is unworthy of anyone's love thus making dating difficult. He may ask you to break up every time he goes through an episode and he will keep ignoring you, even when you assure him that you love him. In times like this, you have to remember that your boyfriend doesn't mean what he says. The words he blurts out are just a result of him being depressed and it's not his intention to hurt you. Although it's hard, you have to be extra patient and keep assuring him that he's worthy of love. Speaking from experience, there will come a time where he will suddenly feel emotional, even when he was just feeling happy moments ago. In such moments, asking stuff such as "What is wrong?" or "Is there anything I can do for you?" are potential landmines. These questions will just worsen his episode more and might result in an argument. When this happens, remember that he's feeling down without any outside cause and that asking him what's wrong will stress him out, even more, when he can't explain himself. That's just how depression works. So if he doesn't talk to you for longer periods of time, avoid pestering him.
What causes your boyfriend to be depressed?
The vow of male silence is a code of masculine conduct that men are initiated into when they are boys. One of the predominant rules is "DON'T TALK ABOUT IT!" ⠀ ⠀ We are all contributing to conditioning boys and men to evade and suppress their emotions and to stay silent about it. We are taught to deal with the hardships of life quickly, rationally and logically. ⠀ ⠀ It's crazy to think that for lots of men any emotion other than anger is not permitted, especially when all genders are born with the capacity to feel emotions.⠀ ⠀ Something has to change! ⠀ ⠀ We have to create a safe space for men to come clean and talk about what is really happening for them on the inside. ⠀ ⠀ If we don't, men all around the world will continue to isolate themselves living lonely lives of quiet desperation. ⠀ ⠀ Some will go on to kill themselves. ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ It's time to break the vow of male silence.⠀ ⠀ Spread the word.⠀ --⠀ ⠀ #oddmanoutbook #breakthevow #mask#archetype #book #reading #mindfulness #wakeup #positivity#suicideawareness #brotherhood #omerta#omertá #mentalillness #calmzone#mensmentalhealth #maledepression#anxiety #vulnerability #realmencry#allman #authenticity #honesty #timetotalk#headstogether #divinemasculine#beaman
Depression might be difficult to understand for most people, but the important thing we should remember is that it's never someone's fault. Someone who suffers from depression would take any opportunity to get rid of it. It's not something that would make anyone proudly proclaim, "I suffer from depression". It's not an aesthetic. It's not depression when you feel disappointed just because you didn't get what you want; there are deep reasons behind it.
Firstly, depression could be caused by genetics. If your boyfriend's family has a history of suffering from depression, there's a possibility that future generations may develop it as well. However, no study has been conducted yet as to how it exactly happens.
Surprisingly, the personality of an individual can cause depression. If your boyfriend is too much of a pessimist and is often distant from social life, chances are he could develop depression. Other negative personality traits such as low self-esteem, sensitivity to criticism, perfectionism, and a tendency to be self-critical are a threat. If you are already seeing negative personality traits in your boyfriend, avoid conflicts and disputes in the relationship as much as possible.
Serious medical illness
If your boyfriend is going through a serious medical illness, caring for him and understanding him would be twice as difficult because illnesses can cause depression. Depression could be his response to the situation, especially if he's dealing with chronic pain and/or undergoing long-term management like taking medications.
Alcoholism and substance abuse
Most people say that they drink alcohol to drown their misery and forget their problems. However, most of us do not know that alcohol is actually a depressant. Although it has a benefit to our physical health when controlled, excessive drinking can harm your brain, thus leading to depression. Using abusive drugs can also harm your mental health which would only not cause depression but various other mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder and anxiety.
The most common cause of depression, especially in teenagers, are personal problems which possibly aren't that different from your boyfriend's situation. Every person goes through difficulties, and though we have different ways of handling them, some people cannot take it, causing them to become depressed.
When people deprive themselves of sleep and rest, it's expected that their brains will tend to work overtime, causing them to be more exhausted than normal, which could lead to depression. When we sleep, we replenish our brain cells so we can function well the next day. If we lack sleep, we will become exhausted and won't be able to think properly.
These are just some of the many causes of depression. Keep in mind that there are a lot more. People differ in handling their own dilemmas so anything, even the littlest issues, could be enough reason for someone to develop depression. Being overwhelmed at work, school, or life in general, not being able to reach goals and achievements, losing a job, money problems, and such could be added to the list. But, whatever reason your boyfriend has, the most important thing you could give him is your unconditional love and patience.
Difference between female and male depression
Although depression has the same effect on male and female brains, which is making it unable to function well, there is quite a difference when it comes to their actions and how they handle it. Women are very vocal in nature so it's not that hard to unearth their emotions. This is why several people conclude that most of those who suffer from depression are women. However, even though men don't open up, there are actions which they show that could mean they're suffering from depression. These actions may completely differ from how depressed women express themselves. Depressed females have a much softer response to depression than depressed males. You will often see women feeling sad, apathetic, and worthless which would not necessarily harm people who surround her. However, men who are depressed have a huge tendency to get angry quickly and are easily irritated by the people who are closest to him. In a relationship, a depressed woman is more likely to open up to her partner about her depression. She would not be afraid to admit her feelings self-doubt and despair. She will seek out attention from other people and might attempt to self-medicate. Men, on the other hand, use material things such as TV, alcohol, and sex without any attachment to cope with their depression. Depressed males would keep ignoring their need for help and would keep themselves distant from anyone who tries to ask them what's wrong. In short, females would not be afraid to sincerely ask for help, but would also be willing to deal with their depression alone without hindering other people. Men, on the other hand, will continue ignoring their inner need for help and passive-aggressively deal with their problems by negatively approaching other people.
How can you help your depressed boyfriend?
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It takes a lot of effort to muster the courage to ask for help when you suffer from depression. Unfortunately, some people are reluctant to admit their weaknesses and would be distant and keep their dilemmas to themselves. This could eventually lead to them committing suicide. Instead of ignoring the obvious and cruel signs of depression, it's best if we help immediately rather than waiting for the people who suffer from it to come to us for advice. Depression is difficult to handle and can be crippling, but the bright side is it can be managed. It may take a long time for the depressed person to recuperate but with a lot of patience and dedication from the people they love, depression can be treated.
1. Social support for your depressed boyfriend
As his partner, you are one of the most important people to show him support and love. As much as possible, try to engage in conversations with your boyfriend without pestering him too much, because there will be times when he won't want to talk. Use an "I" statement instead of bringing up what he's doing wrong. Say "I am concerned about you" instead of "you're mean to me lately". The latter would sound as if you're just blaming him for his actions and that won't help. It would only trigger a depressive episode and make him blame you in the end. Try to get your boyfriend to reach out to his family. Assure him that asking help from loved ones is not a sign of weakness. Make him see that you feel flattered that he trusts you when he tries to open up about his problems to you or anyone he loves, rather than showing you are also distressed. Keep in mind though to not contradict him when he speaks. Take note that a person who is going through depression is unwell and would likely say negative things about themselves that you would disagree with. Contradicting them and giving them sermons will only worsen the situation. Listen to your boyfriend attentively and don't interrupt. Wait, hold in what you have to say and just share it when he feels okay.
2. Engage in physical activities
Encourage your boyfriend to engage in physical activities. Along with social support and caring, exercise is an effective way to boost someone's mood as it provides mood-enhancing chemicals called endorphins. Aside from that, physical activities are also a good distraction for him to make him stop thinking negative thoughts. You don't even have to go to the gym to do this. Make a routine for both of you to do physical activities while bonding with each other at the same time. You could go jogging every morning after waking up or go biking together at the park in the afternoon.
3. Lifestyle changes
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Bad habits could also be a reason for depression, so if your boyfriend shows some habits that are unhealthy or not beneficial to his mental health, encourage him to get rid of these. Make sure that he is eating healthy. Though it's okay to have midnight snacks every now and then, focus on eating food that are good for the heart and brain such as fruits, vegetables, and fish. Also, help him find distractions whenever he's feeling down. This may not be easy because once you're feeling depressed, it's really hard to function well and move around. Still, encourage him little by little to distract himself. Suggest for him to write in a journal, listen to music, watch movies together, or take a walk in the park. If he has bad sleeping habits, help him to get rid of that as well since sleep deprivation can worsen irritability and anger. Ensure that he gets at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.
4. Take care of yourself
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The most important thing is your own mental health. It's okay to give him your full support and love as long as you're harming yourself in the process. Give yourself space to recover as much as you give your boyfriend his own. If you think his depressive episodes are too much for you to handle, don't force yourself to fix it all in one sitting. Keep in mind that as much as it's not his fault that he is suffering from depression, then the more it's not yours either. Protect your own mental health so you can have the strength to support your boyfriend. However, if you feel that his mental condition starts to become a threat to you, know that it's okay to become distant and just leave the relationship.