Men, a lot of times, stand-alone when dealing with life’s challenges. Is it because of the traditional view that men cannot show weakness? Or is it because no one cares, and they distance themselves? Have men become accustomed to not coming forward with issues for fear that society will shun them? Sure, some people may just walk away or show a sprinkling of compassion. And true, a good number of people are just flat-out assholes.
Expressing depression or darker thoughts and making matters worse, not better, is a terrible thought. Regardless of which reason, men tend to bottle it up and deal with it by themselves — not necessarily because they are afraid of not looking like real men but because they feel alone in their struggles and that if they open up, they will lose rather than gain.
The most likely scenario is that the depressed mindset has convinced the individual that no one cares. Also, many people associated with said individual are unaware of their mental state. Beyond this, most people have too much shit to deal with, and the thought of supporting other mentally distressed individuals may seem overwhelming, especially if these people are also mentally distressed.
Some men can’t fathom burdening another person with their own mental issues, causing the confidant to possibly get stressed or worried. As a result, suffering in silence seems easier. But without support, the distress could lead to an overwhelming sense of apathy and not giving a f*ck.
We all feel emotionally down in the dumps occasionally, and regardless of the reason, feeling sad sucks. It’s part of life – no getting around it. You are going to experience sadness, and it’s okay. It’s all part of human emotion. Sometimes, you just have to trudge along.
The good news is that, generally, it’s pretty temporary. Eventually, enough time passes, and you feel better. But sometimes, the sadness and the feeling of gloom persist, and this emotional low can interfere with your quality of life. You may feel hopeless or angry, but worst of all, you feel alone. The sadness may have developed into full-blown depression.
That being said, I want to discuss depression, the different types, and how to treat them. There are varying degrees and types of depression. Still, the fact remains the same – we all experience depression differently, and each type can rob you of your joy, happiness, and sometimes even self-worth. This we need to change!
Depression manifests in varying degrees, and the exact causes of depression are not fully understood as there’s not one thing that causes it. There is no rhyme or reason. Depression can happen at any age for any reason. People are different, but the more research comes in, the more experts start to think that depression is related to a chemical change in the brain.
So it’s not like everybody who’s depressed had to experience a tragic or traumatic event. Sometimes, people just are depressed because they are depressed. Other types of depression are more chronic. A lot of times, genetics plays a part in depression, where you’re predisposed. There’s something chemically a little bit off. My family is a perfect example where depression dates back to my great-grandmother Concetta Cassone.
DO NOT SELF MEDICATE! It is prevalent for people experiencing depression but hasn’t been diagnosed or treated professionally to self-medicate using alcohol or illegal drugs to numb emotional pain. It works short-term, but afterward, depression is worse (not to mention it’s dangerous). You probably know people who drink too much or take drugs – those people need to get at the root of the problem because there are definitely better options out there that will give you a permanent high – aka happiness!
Regardless of the depression type, it needs to be appropriately managed. There’s a lot of stigma associated with depression, but depression is an ILLNESS that affects your mind and body. Like any other illness (like asthma, heart disease, bad knees, hangnails), you treat the problem. There is no one ‘magic bullet’ for treating depression since we are all different people, and everyone responds differently. So often, you must try various alternatives with your doctor until you find what works.
Personally, I have used therapists at various stages in my life. They are a fantastic unbiased tool – and you don’t have to sit next to them at Christmas dinner. If you have a problem with your mom, you go in and talk about it. If you have issues with your girlfriend, you talk about it. Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter because the person’s single job is to help you feel better about yourself. They’re also not going to blow smoke up your ass, and they’re not telling you that you’re ‘fine’ or don’t have a problem.
Finding a good therapist who works and connects with you is trial and error. When you find a good one, you’ll know it. Some of the most well-rounded people you respect have been using a therapist. The reason they’re so well-rounded is because they got it together by seeking help when they needed it.
Major and chronic depression are chemical imbalances in your brain, so no matter how often you tell the person to feel better, it doesn’t help due to the chemical imbalance. Along with therapy, medication may be needed to straighten out the brain. If recommended, they can help you get over it faster to recover and feel great. Remember, depression should be treated even with mild situational depression because it can become more significant if left unmanaged.
I want to recommend that if medication is prescribed, to continue with talk therapy as it’s a well-rounded approach as opposed to just treating the chemical. It’s also essential to get support. Besides a one-on-one therapist, I recommend a support group where people who get it, understand your struggles, and know what you’re dealing with.
Life may suck right now, and it’s okay to be bummed out. But when being bummed out becomes excessive, it may be time to get help. Depression can be treated, but you must first talk to friends, family, & doctors. Let them know you need help because you are too important and special. You have big things to accomplish and can’t achieve any of it if you feel like crap.
*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. This newsletter content is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your mental well-being, including depression.