Men and Women Suffer Differently

So as we all know men are from Mars and women are from a whole different, as yet undiscovered and completely alien to all men, universe. Okay this may not be entirely true as apparently they are from Venus but you know what I mean right? (Ducks to avoid the shoes and handbags being thrown in his direction!)

But the point is men and women are different in many ways especially in how we think and deal with emotions and the ability to talk about problems. As you know I do spend a lot of time browsing the internet for research about depression and came across a site which suggested more women suffer from depression than men. For the life of me I can find the link to the website stupid history removing person!! How accurate is this though? Could it be that women are just more prepared to seek help and acknowledge that they have a problem whereas men are more likely to be in denial about being depressed – back to the “needing help is a weakness” issue!

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_men_male.htm has lots of information about men and depression and a nice handy table of differences between men and women with depression.

Differences between male and female depression
Women with depression tend to: Men with depression tend to:
Blame themselves Blame others
Feel sad, apathetic, and worthless Feel angry, irritable, and ego inflated
Feel anxious and scared Feel suspicious and guarded
Avoid conflicts at all costs Create conflicts
Feel slowed down and nervous Feel restless and agitated
Have trouble setting boundaries Need to feel in control at all costs
Find it easy to talk about self-doubt and despair Find it “weak” to admit self-doubt or despair
Use food, friends, and “love” to self-medicate Use alcohol, TV, sports, and sex to self-medicate

This really interests me and shows, to me anyway, how men seem to revert to caveman type in dealing with depression. “Ugh me man, ugh me depressed, ugh me fight” etc etc

The funny thing is its so true look at the list properly again its scary! Its like almost each stage was me at one point until I finally sought help then I moved over to the woman’s side of the list and wished I had been there earlier!

One of the things that really interests me about doing this blog is the question of my readers gender. I would imagine around 75% + of my readers are women.

Is it because the subject matter is something men wouldn’t read because it makes them uncomfortable?

Is it because women are more likely to want to read my thoughts out of interest in me personally as I know some of my friends on Facebook are genuinely interested.

Is it because unless its porn or sport men don’t read articles online LOL

Whatever the reasoning I would like to think some women are reading my blogs because the recognise the symptoms, thoughts and behavior I describe in myself or from the links I have posted in their partners, friends or family.

So what else should we be looking for in men who we think have depression?….

Understanding depression in men

Depression is not a sign of emotional weakness or failing of masculinity. It is a treatable health condition that affects millions of men of all ages and backgrounds, as well as those who care about them—spouses, partners, friends, and family. It can also lead to heart disease and other serious medical problems. Of course, it’s normal for anyone to feel down from time to time—dips in mood are an ordinary reaction to losses, setbacks, and disappointments in life. However, if intense feelings of despair and hopelessness take hold of you, and interfere with work, family, and your ability to enjoy life, you may be suffering from depression.

Unfortunately, depression in men can often be overlooked as many of us find it difficult to talk about our feelings. Instead, we tend to focus on the physical symptoms that often accompany depression, such as back pain, headaches, difficulty sleeping, or sexual problems. This can result in the underlying depression going untreated, which can have serious consequences. In fact, men suffering from depression are four times more likely to commit suicide than women. It’s important for any man to seek help with depression before feelings of despair become feelings of suicide. You need to talk honestly with a friend, loved one, or doctor about what’s going on in your mind as well as your body. Once correctly diagnosed, there is plenty you can do to successfully treat and manage depression.

Signs and symptoms of depression in men

Men can experience depression in different ways to women. You may develop the standard symptoms of depression and become sad and withdrawn, losing interest in friends and activities you used to enjoy. Or you may become irritable and aggressive, compulsively working, drinking more than normal, and engaging in high risk activities.

Unfortunately, men are far less adept at recognizing their symptoms than women. A man is more likely to deny his feelings, hide them from himself and others, or try to mask them with other behaviors. The three most common signs of depression in men are:

  • Physical pain. Sometimes depression in men shows up as physical symptoms—such as backache, frequent headaches, sleep problems, sexual dysfunction, or digestive disorders—that don’t respond to normal treatment.
  • Anger. This could range from irritability, sensitivity to criticism, or a loss of your sense of humor to road rage, a short temper, or even violence. Some men become abusive, controlling, verbally or physically abusive to wives, children, or other loved ones.
  • Reckless behavior. A man suffering from depression may start exhibiting escapist or risky behavior. This could mean pursuing dangerous sports, driving recklessly, or engaging in unsafe sex. You might drink too much, abuse drugs, or gamble compulsively.

Triggers for depression in men

There’s no single cause of depression in men. Biological, psychological, and social factors all play a part, as do lifestyle choices, relationships, and coping skills. Stressful life events or anything that makes you feel useless, helpless, alone, profoundly sad, or overwhelmed by stress can also trigger depression in men. These could include:

  • Overwhelming stress at work, school, or home
  • Marital or relationship problems
  • Not reaching important goals
  • Losing or changing a job; embarking on military service
  • Constant money problems
  • Health problems such as chronic illness, injury, disability
  • Recently quitting smoking
  • Death of a loved one
  • Family responsibilities such as caring for children, spouse, or aging parents
  • Retirement; loss of independence

I don’t like copying and pasting as a rule but do find it is good to get this information out there in a place where it is more accessible without a Google search so I cut out the middle man and find it for you! Your Welcome 🙂

I wish I had looked up this information 2 years ago but its never a good thing to try and self-diagnose over the internet as in the past few years I have had more tropical diseases than Tarzan courtesy of  the NHS  website!

The best thing to do if you recognise yourself in my posts is speak to your doctor, speak to a friend or family member but please do not speak to that voice in your head that tells you everything is OK.

Talking about your thoughts will not only get you any help you may need but you will feel like a huge burden has been lifted and its the first stage to getting better, it’s also the most important stage! Until you are ready to admit you need help your not going to get better.

There is medication available and although there is a stigma attached to taking anti-depressants they can and will help you! Some do have side effects but if they are affecting you speak to the doctor who will change them!

I am 3 months into my course of them and have changed once due to side effects and the new ones given work like a charm and I feel no addiction to them but I do feel they help!

Have a great day!

Garry

14 comments on “Men and Women Suffer Differently

  1. Nice post. I used to be checking constantly this blog and I’m inspired! Extremely helpful information particularly the closing phase 🙂 I maintain such info a lot. I used to be seeking this certain info for a very lengthy time. Thanks and good luck.

    Like

  2. It’s hard when a man has sought help only to be knocked back by those who was meant to help, being told therapy would be a two week waiting list only to be waiting two months, asking for cbt only to have it refused, those things on the men’s list I’m guilty of hence I sought help, only now my relationship I was in has finished its my fault yet I wonder if I’d been offered those things would it be different……
    I’m now in point where I feel trapped I can’t say how I feel to the ex as it comes out things always about how hard they are for me, I’m controlling because I feel as tho I’m looking grip, I’ve now started to make out everything is fine so I don’t cause problems, when in reality I’m bricking it when I walk out my door, doing shopping in a supermarket and suddenly bursting into tears having ppl stare, with that I leave ashamed that it happened in public, I wish I could say to the ex the reason I’m agitated or angry is because of that.
    I wish I could be normal but I’m not instead I have to fight my own despair and my own uncomfortable thoughts

    Like

    • Matt have you tried writing about your feelings fears and thoughts? Even without publishing like I have here you will be amazed how much better it would make you feel. I find looking back at my posts really helpful and give me a better understanding of my depression. Try it even for 5 minutes don’t think about what your writing let the words flow

      Like

  3. I tried a couple of times to me makes no difference, even kept a diary took that too the doctors to just have him write another script.
    How can a person go to work when they aren’t in the right place mentally? Yet I’ve been doing things on my own for so long there’s only so much a person can do by themselves before they get mentally exhausted, I’ve asked for nothing more from gp or local mh team than help, my fears I don’t watch my son grow up, I lose the battle with my own thoughts, my dreams, I get help so I can get back into work earn a living have my son stay and just live life,
    My reality me battling my thoughts is telling ppl I don’t need help because I’m managing things, I sign on because its better than being signed off and having to see the gp every week, they don’t see the concentration energy and will power to not listen to those thoughts,
    I’m sorry I’m just waffling

    Like

    • please don’t apologise your not waffling and i for one am really interested in reading your comments. Does anyone at work know about your depression? could you ask to see a different doctor or have you told your current dr that you need more from him than just a script? some practices have drs who specialise in mental health ask to see that person. It takes strength to comment so freely on my posts so take heart from that. There is a contact me option on my blog if you ever want to drop me a line please feel free and i will listen and help if i can 🙂

      Like

      • It’s been a while
        Tried again to speak with doctor just to have a feeling of the door being closed in my face,
        This is the third gp I’ve seen in this surgery now and like them I’m sick n tired of shouting in an empty room with only me hearing the screams

        Like

      • welcome back Matt!! im so sorry to hear you are having issues with gps! My uncle (who i have written about) had the same issues every time we went to see his gp he just wrote out another prescription so i feel your frustrations!

        Like

  4. I’m at a loss
    They say ask for help seek it go A&E mht I’ve done all those things and nothing,
    In honesty the reason I didn’t write anything straight away is I battled me again, if I could put down what my head is saying how hard it is maybe I could get somewhere, but its the last thing I wanna do when fighting myself, then there’s the stigma crazy attention seeking not serious, how serious can a person be when crying out for help?
    This is the only place I have left, the ex is friends with Ele

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.