How to help men who have depression

I recently read an article about how Depression is different for men.

Article: In men depression is different

According to the statistics in the article, men are less likely to become depressed than women; however this does not represent the true picture.
In reality men are less likely than women to report feeling depressed or to seek treatment, and this causes much difficulty for the man experiencing depression, as well as for those around him.

Common signs and symptoms of depression include:

• Depressed mood for most of the day
• Not being able to concentrate
• Finding it difficult to get organised, motivated or get things done
• Withdrawing from friends and family
• Excessive drinking or drug use
• Not doing previously enjoyed activities
• Feelings of guilt, frustration, sadness
• Constant thoughts of failure, worthlessness, death
• Changes in behaviour such as being tired, run down, sleep disturbances, weight gain or loss

For more information about signs and symptoms of depression, beyondblue has some great resources that can be accessed via the following link:

beyondblue: signs and symptoms of depression

So what can you do to help a man who is struggling with depression?

The article outlines a number of things that family or friends can do support a man who they suspect may be experiencing depression:

• Normalise the situation
• Ditch the label of Depression
• Ask about suicide
• Suggest getting help that focuses on practical changes
• Focus on strengths
• Be available to support, but know your limits and encourage seeking help and/or seek self help

Most importantly have the conversation. If you’re not sure how, the following link can help with some tips:

beyondblue: have the conversation

If you have ongoing concerns about your own mental health or someone you know, it may be worthwhile to get some professional advice from a psychologist. At Attuned we offer both supportive counselling as well as psychotherapy… so contact us and start the conversation.

John Pertl
Psychologist

The following numbers provide 24 hour crisis support:

Lifeline 131 114
Kids Helpline 1800 551 800

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