Zahrat Al-Khaleej – Men’s depression .. a silent danger

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Depression in men is one of the issues of mental health that is largely silent in our Arab countries, as it is considered by Arab culture to be a sign of undesirable weakness, leading to failure to diagnose or treat men with depression from fear of society. stigma, which delays the patient’s acquisition of treatment and prolongs the duration of suffering.
The health website helpguide.org emphasizes that depression affects both women and men and negatively affects relationships, daily activities, work and studies. While the symptoms and signs of depression in men are similar to those in women, men tend to express these symptoms differently.
Depressed men tend to talk about physical symptoms associated with depression, such as back pain, headaches, sleep problems or problems related to sex, rather than talking about symptoms related to feelings, as many cultures consider them inappropriate. for men to talk about feelings, and that they should They are more resilient and in control of their feelings, leading to a failure to diagnose depression as an underlying cause of these physical symptoms, and the condition worsens to what is not is not bad. Statistics show that men with depression are four times more likely to commit suicide than women with depression.

Symptoms and signs of depression in men:
First: The common symptoms and signs that affect both men and women:
Feelings of sadness, tears, guilt or emptiness.
To lose the feeling of enjoying the joys of life.
Changes in appetite or weight.
Significant decrease or increase in sleep.
Feeling disoriented or tired with difficulty concentrating. Of course, not everyone with depression suffers from all of these symptoms.

Second: The signs that can affect men more than women, and can be classified into three groups: behavioral signs, emotional signs, and physical signs.
Behavioral signs of male depression: avoidance of family and social situations, excessive work without rest, difficulties in keeping up with family and work-related obligations, loss of interest and passion for many things, lack of motivation to achieve success, tendency to control or being possessive in relationships with others, attacks Anger, recklessness, taking risks, alcohol or drug abuse and suicide attempts. One theory is that these behavioral changes associated with depression in men are due to their attempt to hide depression in order to retain their masculinity, and thus these attempts to hide the disease cause them to engage in many self-destructive behaviors.

Emotional signs in men: feeling sad and low in mood, increased feeling of anger, increased feeling of frustration, feeling of aggression, increased irritability and irritability, and thoughts of suicide. As mentioned above, men often do not tend to talk about these symptoms related to feelings in general, but it should be emphasized how important it is that men talk about the feelings they are going through, and that it is not their masculinity reduce or detract. Accurate diagnosis of depression, and then treat properly.

Physical signs in men: headache, chest tightness, back pain, joints or limbs, indigestion, fatigue, significantly increased or decreased sleep, feeling anxious and irritable, increased appetite or loss of appetite with changes in weight. Although depression is primarily a psychological illness, it can lead to organic and physical symptoms, as some of these symptoms occur due to the effect of depression on brain chemistry, leading to a change in serotonin and neuro- levels. adrenaline, which controls mood and feelings of pain.

How to treat depression in men:
Depression can be treated by the use of antidepressant medication prescribed by a doctor, or psychotherapy by a therapist or psychiatrist, or a combination of pharmacological and psychological treatments, and it is always better to combine medication and psychotherapy.
First: drug therapy
Depression is accompanied by chemical changes in the levels of neurotransmitters, and drug therapy aims to restore the balance between these neurotransmitters, and according to the mechanism by which antidepressants work, it is classified under one of the following drug groups: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs), atypical antidepressants, tricyclic antidepressants and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).
This medication is taken under the supervision of the psychiatrist, who will adjust the doses until the best possible result is achieved, and some medications may need several weeks to show their effect, and this requires patience, and avoid stopping the medication. without consulting the doctor.

Second: Psychotherapy:
Whether through individual or group sessions, there are many therapeutic schools, and each school has its own approach to dealing with depression. The best known of these schools is the dynamic school, in which the therapist works with the patient to see the roots of depression in the subconscious, acceptance and affiliation); It provides good patient support.
In general, 80% of depressed men and women can be successfully treated with these drugs, and the most important thing is to stop stigmatizing men with depression, and to recognize their right to express their illness and treatment while they provide the necessary support during their journey to overcome the disease.

Also read: Important tips to help control anger

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