How do you males deal with depression?

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My boyfriend who has been feeling rather 'down' the last couple of weeks. This is coupled with crying, guilt, feeling worthless, confused, unmotivated, tired, etc. As someone who has bouts of bad anxiety and depression, I understand that he's going through a period of depression himself.

Over the last 6 months, I have kept pushing for my boyfriend to see his friends and family but he doesn't want to. When he does, he seems to brighten up a bit and feel thankful that he did but I feel bad for harassing him about it in the first place. We've been together and lived together quite a while now but I've never noticed any symptoms of his depression (although I know it was quite bad in the past before we met).

I digress, I wanted to know how many members were males suffering with depression and what (if anything) triggered your depression? Is there anything that makes you feel better or anything that helps you overcome it? Also, do you ever feel like you can talk to anyone about it? My boyfriend talks to me about it briefly but then shuts me out, just as I am in that metaphorical door by saying 'I'm just being stupid, sorry, ignore me.'

Thanks!

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  • Posted

    As a male (77) I have had quite enough experience of depression during my life and witnessed others with the condition. In my young days the word depression was never used as that was thought to indicate a mental illness with all the bad associations that entailed. Then a doctor would refer to a breakdown of sorts or nervous anxiety (is there any other?). So I have from time to time given the problem a lot of thought most particularly as my son was brought home from uni with severe depression.

    The main feature appears to be an excess of stress. We all need a level of stress in order to perform normally so it is when the pressures build up to an unmanageable level of stress that a person can fall into depression. That leads to the first question - what has caused the rise in stress? Is it one event? A combination of events? A recurring problem that has gradually and insiduously worn the person down? Or something else - there can be a wide variety of reasons and all of us are susceptible under certain circumstances with possibly bereavement a major cause.

    Men and women are equally susceptible, but for differing reasons generally because we approach matters in a different way - lateral against vertical thinking, say. What both sexes experience at times is a depression brought on by a trigger. It may be that something in a person's past has been suppressed and suddenly an action, event, memory triggers that high stress/anxiety and hence depression. From your comments it seems to me that your boyfriend is being affected by a trigger. What is it? I cannot say but you may well know although you have not yet made the connection.

    He needs some medical help from his GP. That will not cure the depression; what the drugs do is to help him by reducing the impact of stress and allow his brain to refresh. That is to allow time to overcome the negative thoughts that are a severe part of depression. Both of you can then help in the recovery process. Positive thinking is a strong way to help oneself overcome the bad thoughts. It requires discipline and determination but the more positivity that can be introduced the quicker can be the recovery.

    So the meds are there to help but if only the meds are relied upon then recovery may take a very long time. Recovery is not something that happens suddenly. One may realise one day that one feels much better but recovery is still some way away. That is why it is important not to stop the meds without seeing the GP first. Some people have experienced such bad depression that they need to continue taking the meds forever. However, I believe that even those could be helped and the longer they are in that condition the harder it may be to break out of it. Consequently getting help as soon as possible makes a lot of sense.

    You have an important role to play but do not push it. Being there and encouraging is a start but he cannot be forced to do anything. A visit to his GP uis the best you can do first.

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  • Posted

    MALE 43 married with twins at age 15. I have been severely depressed for a year now. I am much better than I was but still not completely well. I never could talk about it face to face. I found these forums and online support help some. My wife tries to get me to talk but I will not. She made me go to my doctor but I wouldn't talk to him either but she did. I could have strangled her. It was the worst most humiliating thing I have ever been through. She even told of bout with suicide when she found me in the yard with a 44 magnum. But like I said months later after many meds and such, I am better

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  • Posted

    My reasons for been depressed have been mentioned in my first post but without making you read all that the main reasons are that I was raped, I've constantly been betrayed an cheated on by girlfriend's, I was bullied at school, don't get on with family and I was dragged away from my home to a place I hate.

    Mind you that's just the big reasons the small reasons would be stress related like not been able to get a job or a girlfriend for that fact and family pestering me to be someone I'm not.

    As for what helps at school it was playing the piano or reading true crime books at home which I'm thankful to John E Douglas and his mindhunter, cases that still haunt us an broken wings books.

    Now I'm 31 what helps to drown it all out is playing on the Xbox with friends over Xbox live but for me it don't go anywhere sure I can hide my depression from most people I know but it's still there.

    Because meds never worked the side effects did but not the positive effects so I'm still looking for a pill that might work.

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  • Posted

    Hi Alotte,

    I'm 36 and have only recently admitted to both myself and my other half that I am suffering with depression and probably have been for at least a couple of years. Like you, my other half has wondered if there has been something wrong for some time, and I would have continued to deny and suppress it had she not confronted me about it and told me how she was feeling about things.

    I don't know why I am depressed - there's no specific event I can pick out that would be a 'reason' as it were - I think it has just crept up on me through stress and the way I (don't) deal with things emotionally. I haven't yet been able to fully open up to my wife - we have talked a bit, but it's like there's something physically stopping me from inside from saying what's going on in my head - hard to explain. I also think I've learned to 'keep up appearances' for so long that it's not something I can just suddenly change - so even now when my wife asks if I'm ok, I automatically just say 'not bad' or similar and she gets angry that I'm not telling her the truth. It hurts me too that I can't seem to just be honest, but that's the way it is right now and I can't help it.

    I have managed to get myself to the GP and get some meds to help, and have started the process of trying to get some talking therapy as well - ultimately I want to get better, I see the impact of me being the way I am on my family and want to change that, particularly to get some enjoyment out of my children again which has been lacking for ages now.

    So I think the thing that is helping me overcome it is admitting I need help in the first place and then trying whatever I can to improve things. It's not a quick thing to recover from, but I have to believe I will get there.

    Hope this helps. Good luck.

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    • Posted

      Hi dougied85

      i can familiarise with much of what you've said.

      im new to this forum, today actually

      i too am taking anti depressants 

      i feel angry, aggressive, and easily antagonised by my 6&7 year old boys

      also my wife has M.E and depressed also

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  • Posted

    Man, 60. Mine began when my family died. Mother, father and wife all within a few months. Left with 7 year old son who asked me to kill him. 'Friends' deserted as fast as possible. Decided my life was over but couldn't kill myself because it would leave my son with no-one.

    Anyway, I wanted to say that being depressed affected me as a man. My stereotype of being a man was that we don't cry, we must be strong. Women will think we are weak (which they do) if we are weeping and pathetic and can't cope. They want someone they can rely on and who can protect them and probably support them. When depressed I was no fun, very pathetic, crying, angry, oversensitive and negative. Who wants to be around someone like that? (i thought). Also my sex drive died. So I didn't talk to anyone about it because 1) they wouldn't understand and 2) I would be judged. It totally undermined my feeling of being a man and enhanced my feeling of failure. Also, I guess I expected my women friends to be supportive and 'motherly' and empathic. They weren't. Reality wake up call! All I got was them telling me how I should bring up my son as if I was an idiot who didn't know how to do that.In my experience, men dont talk about depression because of shame of being less of a man and fear of being judged. This is apart from the usual depression scenario of retreat from the world and from others. He needs anything that can give him self-esteem and, excuse me, but sex can help him feel this. He may fear that you will get fed up with him and leave (which a lot of women do) so doesn't want to tell you how bad he is really feeling. However, there is an opportunity here for you to get closer. Don't tell him what to do. Try to ignore him shutting you out. It is the depression that is shutting you out, not him. He may also feel that he is not worthy of you. Try to show him that you still value him and that this is a temporary situation which he will recover from. Best of luck to you both.

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  • Posted

    Male, 52. Had depression for over 5 years. Had breakdown at work by minor incident that tipped me over the edge. My manager suggested i visit the doctor which i delayed but did actually go. Cause - delayed reaction by 2 years of mum's sudden death and being a good listener, i had been strong for my siblings and in my youth, also for my friends, 3 of whom were adopted. Following on from this an ex girlfriend and good friend died suddenly of brain cancer followed the next year by my elderly father. Live alone with plenty of time to think.

    Being stubborn by nature i searched the internet for support therapies and have so far tried hypnotherapy, cranial, reflexology and most importantly counselling.

    I am not ashamed of this illness and will willingly educate the ill informed. It is a form of mental illness which means it is invisible to the outside world. You certainly find out who your true friends are.

    I also did something very foolish in my 20's (sliding 1500ft down a mountain after ending a best friendship at the top of it. This was not a suicide attempt but just that my mind was not functioning properly. This has left me with lasting injuries which give me pain every day.

    Everyone reacts in different ways to depression - some people will talk about it and then recoil into their shell, others feel too embarrassed or humiliated to even discuss it.

    I would highly recommend firstly a visit to a doctor, medication in tandem with counselling. I'm not the sort of person who wanted to talk to a stranger about my innermost feelings and my 1st counsellor was hopeless. I found the 2nd 1 privately who is excellent. You have to find someone who you can have a rapport and be comfortable with.

    You are doing your best. Be there for him and support him when he will let you.

    Best wishes and i hope he can find the courage to find the help he needs.

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  • Posted

    Hi to all you guys above. Just a brief note to one and all.

    Depression can hit anyone even the person one least expects to succumb. There is no known reason that fits everyone but the major factor is excess stress and/or sudden devastating change. being a man does not change anything as any GP will tell you. There is, however, a difference between feeling depressed and being in clinical depression.

    People who have never experienced depression are more likely to barrack a man than a woman. Empathy comes from someone who cares, not from strangers except in unusual circumstances. You need to talk to your closest friend, if unmarried, not to anyone you happen to know and particularly not to women who are merely acquaintances.

    I have written a lot on a number of threads here undere depression some of which may help you so try to read as much as you can because I cannot go on repeating myself.

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  • Posted

    I'd like to thank you all for your replies. I have showed my boyfriend your replies which was very emotional for him but it was important for him to see that he wasn't alone (which he has now seen first hand). We're going to visit the GP and discuss how he has felt recently. We're also going to make a list of things that he thinks has triggered this.

    As someone I want to spend my life with, I want to support him as much as possible. Although I suffer with bouts of depression myself (which I'm self-aware of and able to manage), I know first hand that it isn't easy to support someone with very severe depression (this coming from someone who had a severely depressed, suicidal mother whilst growing up). It's hard to see someone give up on themselves but I think I have the advantage of experiencing it before as well as understanding it on the most part and I'm not going to let it get to a stage where it is out of control.

    I just want to say to those who have had people leave or not understand, it may not be from lack of care or malice, it is awful for those affected by depression but also their loved ones who experience the effects of it. You need someone strong willed, understanding and aware of how depression works. I know it's hard not to but don't take it personally if someone can't stick by you or understand.

    What I was really asking though, although GP's, therapy and medication are the best bets, do any of you have personal ways of dealing with it or if you have anything that helps you manage? Mine used to be work (I have a job where I have to put on a persona), I'd focus on that for most of my waking hours that I didn't have time to focus on other things. In my boyfriend's circumstances, I think that is causing additional stress making the depression worse. I know they don't cure depression, I just want to know what coping mechanisms you use?

    Thanks again.

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  • Posted

    Fresh air and exercise, a change of scenery, a change of accommodation and even a change of job can all help one to cope. A new challenge particularly when it involves leaving the old behind. Best of all, I believe, is positive thoughts. Concentrate on all the good things in life. Plan for the future. Think of what you would really like to do even if that seems impossible; the impossible often becomes possible due to changes you cannot foresee. Then dream about it. All of the above helps to drive out negative thoughts. I find using mind over matter helps enormously - such as I am not going to let it beat me, repeated over and over while doing strong exercise. All of us can help ourselves when we get some med that gives us a start. The last time I went down I soon realised that I could not get a good sleep. Although frowned upon my GP relented and gave me some sleeping pills. After a few nights sleeping deeply I regained the energy to tackle the problem with exercise and positive thinking.
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  • Posted

    Getting out of the house and having contact with other people (even just going down to the cornershop).

    Keeping occupied with something (anything). (I built a model ship)

    Praising oneself for achieving anything during the day (even if it is just the washing up).

    Watching comedy programmes.

    Listening to radio 4 extra.

    Taking a long warm bath by candlelight

    Meditating.

    Going for a walk in nature.

    Stroking a cat or dog.

    Drawing, writing or painting how I feel.

    Do a body scan daily (this helps take you out of your head and into your body)

    Do not beat yourself up for being depressed.

    Write down your depressive thoughts.

    Be very kind and gentle with yourself (more than you think you should)

    Get a furry hot water bottle (very comforting)

    Rest.

    Say to yourself 'I love you'

    Listen to music

    Buy yourself a little treat.

    Get a pair of sheepskin slippers.

    Don't drink alcohol (it's a chemical depressant)

    Don't smoke weed (it is also a depressant)

    Have sex (with yourself if no one is available)

    Don't google depression (or any other imaginary illness)

    Don't listen to the advice of those who don't know what they are talking about.

    Every day bring to mind what you DO have. (a roof and walls to keep out the weather; clean hot and cold water that comes out of the wall on demand; an indoor toilet; warmth on demand;clean clothes; food available from all over the world; family and loved ones; friends, pets etc.)

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  • Posted

    Adding to the above posts which contains information i agree with:

    Write lists of things to do, however minor, and cross them off when done - very satisfying. I'm clearing my loft at the moment.

    Sit in the sun (when it shines).

    If you are having a bad day - go with the flow. The next day will probably be better.

    Listen to music - i have different genres depending on mood.

    Look at You Tube videos.

    Have plenty of 'me' time.

    Good luck.

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  • Posted

    Well I have messed up my knee and hurt really bad yesterday. I think i over medicated and this morning I got in a wreck and tore up my truck. My luck

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  • Posted

    I just wanted to thank you all for all of your replies. They have really helped and I've started to compile a wish list to sit down and cross off with my boyfriend. I think that not only has it become too much for him in terms of stress which is having a knock on effect with his depression, he's not had a lot to look forward to which I want to work on, for the both of us.

    We did go to the GP and although my boyfriend couldn't raise the subject for fear of breaking down in front of him, his options were discussed once the subject was broached. The GP happily referred him to see a counsellor and rightly informed him that medication was a choice for him - some people respond to just one or the other and some people need both. So we're hoping he can start the counselling and see how well that works for him to start with.

    I know this isn't an overnight thing and it is a process that may take years but I hope this is a great start to better times. I will say that as soon as we spoke to the GP about it, my boyfriend seemed significantly happier like there was some hope for him and he was starting to understand himself more. So anyone who feels like their depression is worsening and needs help, please don't be afraid to speak to your GP - I know that even when I raised my issues with my GP (who hasn't had the best bedside manner in the past) they were really understanding.

    Thanks again.

    P.S: Mtm, sorry to hear about your truck. I've been working on looking for 'silver linings' in my own life recently. It's hard but there is always something to be thankful for. I write them down so I'm now starting to compile a list of them to look at.

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  • Posted

    I understand your boyfriend's fear of talking and approaching the subject as well. I couldn't do it either but my wife did and told the doc everything. It was a very emotional and disturbing visit but I guess it paid off. I am better. I still struggle keeping this thing at bay. It is like a creature that keeps trying to come out from under the bed and you have to willfully keep tucking it back it. Your boyfriend is very lucky to have such a caring and thoughtful person. Just as I was to have my wife. Do keep in mind that sometimes no matter how hard you try, it is a tough road and he can bring you down and put you in a spot where you are no help to him. I pretty much did that to my wife. Be strong and cautious of letting him, not meaning to, bring you down. Good luck to you both.

    Regards,

    Todd Mozingo

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