When it comes to getting the help they need, men with depression definitely have to overcome extra hurdles.
As we’ve discussed, it starts in childhood. Young boys are taught to overlook and stuff their emotions down. They end up turning on each other and themselves, often reinforcing the masculine roles they’ve been taught. They end up hiding their inherent sensitivities by the time they reach adolescence.
If a guy suspects he’s having issues, he may make an honest attempt at understanding where they are coming from. They may look for information online or visit their doctor to figure out the cause of physical or mental symptoms, only to encounter uninformed guidance that doesn’t recognize their symptoms for what they are.
Then, even if a man can identify the possibility of dealing with depression, the literature and even the therapy they encounter may leave them feeling misunderstood. The reason is so much of what’s out there focuses on women.
These difficulties make it especially hard for guys to plug into much-needed therapy.
While several effective medications exist for treating depression, they don’t replace the powerful impact that therapy can have. Unfortunately, all the hurdles we described above mean that even getting a guy into the therapist’s office for the first time can be a heavy lift.
If a psychologist isn’t accustomed to working with men with depression, they may not know how to tailor their approach. For this reason, guys may not be consistent with therapy and end up terminating sessions before they can pay off.
Finding the right balance for men with depression:
If you’re a guy and you suspect you may be struggling with therapy, or if there’s a man in your life you’re concerned about, working with a therapist who takes a balanced approach can make all the difference.
As in so many areas of life, being an informed consumer is critical. Are you considering therapy to help with your depression? If so, read up on the warning signs which occur for men. Watch YouTube videos that feature men sharing their own, first-hand stories. When contacting a therapist, ask them for their take on the differences between men and women regarding depression.
If you’re inclined to do so, let a potential therapist know what sort of approach works for you. Ask for a game plan while understanding that therapy can be a curvy and subjective process. A good therapist will make you feel heard and implement your suggestions while also challenging you and pushing you to get in touch with your own thought patterns. Yes, your feelings! This balance is essential – state what you want to accomplish, but trust that you don’t necessarily know the way. After all, that’s what you’re coming to a professional for!
Most importantly, don’t go it alone.
Depression is a painful problem to have. Often for men, pain is even physical and can show up as constant fatigue, problems with sexual performance, aggression, irritability, and indifference. If you’re a guy and you suspect you’re dealing with depression, the most important thing is this: reach out for help.
Too often, men with depression suffer in silence. That never has to be the case. Contact our office today to get in touch with a therapist who understands the unique challenges and approaches suitable for guys. You can start to overcome the weight of depression and be reconnected with a sense of satisfaction and empowerment.