Depression Impacts Men, Too

By Jaime Davila, MA, LPC

Do You Feel Like You are Losing Control or Focus?

Photo by Les Cochrane, FreeImages.com

Photo by Les Cochrane, FreeImages.com

Do you feel an underlying dissatisfaction with your life that you’re unable to pinpoint? Do you feel disconnected from your loved ones or find yourself constantly at odds with them? Are you more irritable or impatient than you used to be? Are you considering changing jobs or careers but uncertain how to proceed? Do you worry that you haven’t been able to find a way to live that feels authentic? Are you struggling with how to address these problems and feeling powerless to make effective change?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may be experiencing the symptoms of depression. That may come as news to you, as we often associate depression more with women than with men. But you are not alone.

Many Men Struggle to Recognize and Address Depression

Depression is one of the most common mental health issues in the U.S., with nearly 24 million adults saying they experienced depression symptoms during the prior two weeks of being surveyed[1]. Almost 9 million of these were men. Symptoms of depression may include[2]:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Overeating, or appetite loss
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment.
Photo by BrachAnam9, FreeImages.com

Photo by BrachAnam9, FreeImages.com

Despite the fact that depression impacts men significantly, many men feel like they are completely alone in their challenges. Some think they are just irritable or going through a difficult period, and they’ll feel better if they give it enough time. Others think asking for help is an admission of weakness, or that how they’re feeling means they are somehow broken. It is common to turn to indulgences as a way to cope, such as drinking, recreational marijuana, obsessive video or internet use, or increased social isolation. You may drown yourself in work or hobbies to avoid uncomfortable or painful emotions. But, these quick fixes aren’t likely to help you understand why you are struggling, and they can actually create new challenges in your personal life and relationships.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve your self-understanding, regain your self-confidence, and reclaim your power. Depression treatment for men can help you figure out who you are and where you want to go in your life.

Depression Treatment for Men Can Help You Figure Out Who You Truly Are

There is an understandable cause for every challenge you face and a reason you react the way that you do. At The Labyrinth Institute in Lafayette, Colorado, I can help you see that you had a natural reason for every choice you made in your life and your relationships. As you grow and change, however, these strategies can lose their effectiveness.

I can help you recognize that, while you may have to find a different way of doing things to take care of yourself in the long-term, it doesn’t mean that you are weak or broken. In fact, it takes tremendous strength to reach out for support when you feel helpless and alone. I provide a welcoming environment and compassionate, nonjudgmental counseling where you can feel safe discussing the difficult thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that are weighing you down.

Photo by Paul Sijtsma, FreeImages.com

Photo by Paul Sijtsma, FreeImages.com

As you begin depression treatment for men, we’ll first take the time to understand the challenges you are facing and how they started. Self-reflection is an important part of the healing process, and I can help you learn how to identify the positives as well as the negatives in your life. As you learn to recognize your own patterns of behavior, you can become aware of your internal dialogue and events or triggers that cause you to feel either more engaged or detached at work and at home.

And, by engaging with new perspectives in a safe space, you can learn to recognize and address difficult or unhealthy thoughts, emotions, and behaviors at your own pace while reflecting on your experiences and how they impact your life, and relationships. With depression treatment for men, you can learn how to understand yourself, process challenges in a healthy way and empathize with the issues and experiences of others.

I have been providing depression treatment for men in the Lafayette area for four years. In that time, and through my own experience with depression, I have seen how important an experienced, nonjudgmental therapist can be in achieving lasting recovery. You may feel like you should be able to talk to family or friends about your struggles but worry that the things you say will come up again later. When you work with a therapist, you can feel safe and supported as you express your thoughts, emotions, and worries. You don’t have to fear being judged or criticized.

I understand the challenges you are facing and offer a collaborative approach to finding relief and recovery. At The Labyrinth Institute, you can feel like you are having a conversation and playing a role in your recovery, not having decisions made for you. With depression treatment for men, you can start feeling more confident and in control of your personal life, career, and relationship.

But, You May Still Have Questions or Concerns about
Depression Treatment for Men…

My partner is pressuring me to attend counseling, but I’m still not sure it can help.

In my experience, it can be helpful to sit down and have a conversation about what is going on in your life. I provide a confidential environment and judgment-free counseling where you can feel safe telling me about your experience. From there, we can decide together on how we want to proceed and develop personalized strategies to help you reach your personal, professional, and relationship goals.

I’m concerned about how long depression treatment will take.

While you can learn coping skills to help you manage distressing emotions and symptoms, it can take time to understand your challenges and find lasting relief. Meaningful recovery requires that you are authentic and committed to taking the work seriously. But, if you are engaged in our sessions and willing to explore potentially difficult issues, you may start seeing results in as little as two months.

I’ll feel weak or like something is wrong with me if I need therapy.

Photo by Tolga Kostak, FreeImages.com

Photo by Tolga Kostak, FreeImages.com

All relationships take work and compromise, including our relationships with ourselves. As you go through your life, your self-view changes. This, in turn, shapes what you believe about yourself and how you conduct yourself from day-to-day. When you go through challenges, it doesn’t mean that you’re weak or broken; you just have to make an adjustment. It’s natural to try and hold on to certain ways of doing things, even when those beliefs are no longer serving you well. But, when you can find meaning in your experiences, you can use that to move forward into a better way of operating and solving problems.

You Can Feel More Confident and in Control

Are you ready to build a deeper understanding of who you are and what you need to be happy? Would you like to learn more about how depression impacts men? If so, I invite you to call me at The Labyrinth Institute in Lafayette at 720-340-2799 to schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation to discuss your particular challenges and goals.

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Jaime Davila, MA, LPC, NCC

 

Jaime Davila is a bilingual therapist specializing in men’s issues. You can reach him at jaime@jdavila.us or 720-340-2799.

 

 

[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

[2] National Institute of Mental Health