Depression does not discriminate, and it isn’t a sign of weakness Bro. You don’t have to tough it out.
Instead, try these tips to help you start feeling better today.
BROS & DEPRESSION
WHAT IS DEPRESSION, BRO?
As men, we like to think of ourselves as strong and in control of our emotions. When we feel hopeless or overwhelmed by despair, we often deny it or try to cover it up. But depression is a common problem that affects many of us at some point in our lives, not a sign of emotional weakness or a failing of masculinity.
Depression is defined as a mental illness, disorder or condition by the World Health Organisation and globally, although some countries prefer to differentiate between mental ill-health and mental illness, depending on the severity of the condition.
It affects millions of men of all ages and backgrounds, as well as those who care about them—spouses, partners, friends, and family. 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, male depression changes how you think, feel, and function in your daily life. It can interfere with your productivity at work or school and impact your relationships, sleep, diet, and overall enjoyment of life. Severe depression can be intense and unrelenting.
Unfortunately, Bro, depression in men often gets 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 male depression, such as back pain, headaches, aggression, difficulty sleeping, or sexual problems. This can result in the underlying depression going untreated, which can have serious consequences.
Men suffering from depression are several times more likely to commit suicide than women on a global level*, so it’s vital for any man to seek help with depression before feelings of despair become feelings of suicide. 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 male depression and prevent it from coming back.
* In several Asian countries, men are more than twice as likely to die from suicide then women (Laos 2.11:1; Brunei 2.21:1; the Philippines 2.26:1; Singapore 2.27:1; Malaysia 2.42:1; Indonesia 2.36:1; Japan 2.53;1, South Korea 2.55:1). Countries that has a male to female ratio of suicide rate around 3:1 include New Zealand (2.79:1), Australia 2.9:1; Austria (3.07:1), Italy (3.23:1), US (3.2:1) and the UK (3.4:1). The ratio increases in other countries such as Ireland (4.19:1); South Africa (4.25:1), Thailand (4.41:1); El Salvador at 5.77:1 and Russia at 6.44:1. The highest rate of male suicide in gender ratio is Ukraine, at 7.34:1. For a country of 42.5m people, that translates to an estimated 14,663 blokes who have taken their lives in one year. (WHO Suicide Statistics 2019).