Depression. Feeling down and depressed, and not sure where to turn for relief
Depression counseling for men can help.
Depression is a big downer, and it affects men and women differently. It can take over your whole life, and can creep in and leave you feeling flat, de-energized and uninterested in things that used to make you happy.
Concerned people in your life, like your wife, girlfriend, friends or family, have started to tell you that they're worried about you, and they’re seeing a different version of you. It may be depression that’s taking hold of you. You’ve decided that seeing a counselor may help with your depression.
How depression can affect men:
- Overwhelmed by stress or sadness
- Feeling agitated or irritable a lot of the time
- Eating and sleeping poorly (too much or too little)
- Fuzzy-focused and having trouble concentrating?
- Feeling flat or numb, or have that “out of your body” experience
- Fatigued and have little energy, or interest
- Hopeless and helpless, and hesitant to ask for help
- Criticizing yourself or feeling ashamed because you’re depressed
- Avoiding others, including your wife or girlfriend, family, or friends, and would rather be just alone
6 million men in America are diagnosed with depression, and plenty more go undiagnosed.
The biggest barriers to men seeking therapy for their depression are stigma and fear. In our culture, we expect men “be strong” or “masculine,” and “suck it up,” if they’re having personal problems like depression. In reality, it takes a lot of courage and strength for men to admit they’re having a problem, and to seek out counseling help for it.
Medications for depression can be helpful, but plenty of men I talk with just don’t want to take an antidepressant. They don’t want that “band-aid” fix, but want to really get to the root of their depression, or want to talk to someone in addition to taking a pill.
Sometimes, men get angry and mask their underlying depression. Depression can be mixed with shame and self-abuse, which can make the combination all that much worse.
A lot of guys also “wall off” from loved ones, and settle into depression behind this emotional wall. Does this describe you?
Maybe your life hasn’t turned out the way you want - professionally, romantically, or financially. You’ve failed to realize your goals and dreams, and have “settled into a rut,” that might be described as depression. Men can keep themselves in this place for years, through denial or resigning themselves to their unsatisfying place in life.
Sometimes, depression is situational, like in a troubled marriage. Men can get depressed and stay stuck in their depression after months or years of being unhappy in their marriage. Then as “depressed men” become the “problem ” in their marriage, this only leads to more focus on them as they crawl deeper into depression. The “healthy” partner blames the problems on their depressed partner, leading to cycle of blame and avoidance.
Don’t resign yourself to an unhappy life. Therapy can help men like you with depression.
Benefits to counseling for depression:
- Lift the “fog of depression” and feel clearer
- Increased all-around energy
- Better, deeper sleep
- More engagement and fulfillment in your relationship
- More settled and satisfied with work
- Feel happier and more at peace with yourself
- More present and available to others
- Break down walls between you and others
Imagine what it will feel like when you’re no longer weighed down by the cloud of depression. Your relationships will be better, your work life will be better, and social situations will feel better. You’ll feel more engaged with your life and more optimistic about your future.