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innertorment

Depressed Men

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It is really hard to be a guy with depression.

Most support groups I check out are women and there are so many expectations on men to "get over" emotions and "be strong." I'm sick of it. I'm out of work right now and I hate being non-productive. Sick of therapy and meds that help that don't get rid of the depressing thought patterns and fatigue that follows. My spouse is losing her patience and compassion for my pain. She's now the breadwinner and expects me to take care of all the things around the house since I'm not working, but I'm too depressed to take care of the house, her, or myself.

It's a real struggle and I wish there were more men's support groups out there or discussions on line. I've read many books about depression and men, and I get it... but I suffer from it.

Having just a few male friends with depression or low-self esteem would probably help me feel less isolated, angry and more better about myself. Depression sucks. Especially today!

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It's hard for us all, but yes, when you feel burdened by any kind expectation from society be it "real men don't get depressed" or "soldiers don't get depressed" or "rich people don't get depressed" etc, it's especially hard because there's an entire society making you feel bad for feeling bad. When I was younger I can't tell you what it meant to read an interview with James Garner talking about how he'd be so depressed he wouldn't even get up to turn on the lights in a room because what was the point? Here was a guy, rich, famous----had it all, but depression laid him low like anyone else. To this day reading about some guy who seemingly has it all makes me feel better when he says he deals with depression.

That said, I'm glad you're in therapy but if you feel your meds aren't working you should talk to your therapist about it. Everyone is different and it could be that whatever you're taking just isn't for you body chemistry.

Also, being at home can help you. Pick any of the tasks you're supposed to do and just accomplish that one. Don't worry about the others now, just get the one done. "Fake until you make it" is very valid way to go when you're depressed because it takes away what depression feeds upon, which is itself. You don't do anything around the house, your wife gets angry, you feel worse, depression wins. You do something, your wife's anger decreases and even though it may not feel like it, depression has lost. The more you do, the more it loses and even though you may not feel it immediately you are getting better.

Finally, leave the house. Walk around the block go to the park, even if you have a computer to job hunt, go somewhere else to use it like the library. But don't stay there all day.

Well, one depressed dude to another, that's all I got. Hope it helps. I'm trying to find the will to go to the gym when all I want to do is lay on the floor and feel sorry for myself.

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Thanks for posting a reply. It helps.

I did get 2 things done on my house task list before my wife got home. Even though I feel useless the dogs still need to be taken out and fed, so I did that. We had massive thunder/lightening storms here this afternoon so I sat on the porch and enjoyed nature's dramatic show. You mentioned fake it till you make it, which I think can work

sometimes. It does create movement and a small feeling of accomplishment, but doesn't make me feel better while "faking it"

I also agree about reading the stories of other men's depression (and women), especially people we don't expect to hear it from. William Styron, Walter Cronkite, Mike Wallace, etc. All helpful, revealing, familiar stories. I didn't know about James Garner.

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Thanks for posting a reply. It helps.

I did get 2 things done on my house task list before my wife got home. Even though I feel useless the dogs still need to be taken out and fed, so I did that. We had massive thunder/lightening storms here this afternoon so I sat on the porch and enjoyed nature's dramatic show. You mentioned fake it till you make it, which I think can work

sometimes. It does create movement and a small feeling of accomplishment, but doesn't make me feel better while "faking it"

I also agree about reading the stories of other men's depression (and women), especially people we don't expect to hear it from. William Styron, Walter Cronkite, Mike Wallace, etc. All helpful, revealing, familiar stories. I didn't know about James Garner.

That's great. Today the dogs, tomorrow the dogs and the trash. Small steps. I speak from experience that a chaotic or messy home can contribute to depression. Your depression leads to mess which only makes you more depressed. Very vicious circle. But everything clean and in order is actually calming. I treat it like a reward system. If I clean this room then I can lay down on the couch and feel sorry for myself.

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Well well after being of AD,s for over a year it has reared its ugly head agian.Just when i really believed the depression was over for good.Started back on my meds today.I have tried everything,vitamins.positive attitude even religion.Its just something some of us have to live with.What a lonely state to be in as nobody except other folks like ourselves understands.Why suffer more take your meds!

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Hi Innertorment,

I can really identify with what you talked about in your post. I don't have much to say because the other posters have already said pretty much everything I wanted to tell you. They have good advice.

Are you in the care of a doctor? Are you taking anti-depressants? The reason I ask is because depression is associated with brain disorganization and nerve cell atrophy. Depression has been linked to atrophy in the part of the forebrain called the hippocampi. Reductions in density, volume and size of the hippocampi in depression can reach 20%. That's a lot. Depression has also been linked with atrophy of the pre-frontal cortex which also shows decreased blood flow and energy utilization in depression. Reduction in the growth and number of neurons and in new brain cell birth [nueorgenesis] has also been linked to depression. So I think it is important to consult with a doctor because their are medicines that can improve beain health and reverse atrophy.

I'm sorry I didn't have anything more helpful to add to the wonderful posts of the others here. But I wish you the very best!

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Hello innertorment,

I can only imagine how much harder it is for a guy suffering with depression thanks to all the stigma about depression and as you said men are not supposed to have emotions . Have you tried one on one therapy with a psychologist ? You might feel more comfortable also most groups I have been too did have a few blokes and I didn't think any different of them. Other people who suffer depression will except you they know what ur going through they don't care if your a bloke or a woman .

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Hi all

Thanks for the supportive replies. To answer the questions I do have a very smart, kind psychotherapist who works closely with my psychiatrist. Some patients are not responsive to many of the ssri and snri

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Hi innertorment - I can definitly relate to where you are coming from. Society raises us to believe that men should be strong and not have anxiety/depression issues. I think my girlfriend leans toward this belief, though she hasn't come right out and said it. But when we as men have these problems, being brought up the way we were, it kills our self-esteem. I think society is finally realizing that alot of men suffer anxiety/depression as well as women. I go to a support group where there are several men, and we have shared and gotten alot of support from each other. Try to find someone similar to yourself that you can talk to and keep trying different meds till you find something that works. Best of luck.

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Past couple days have been really hard to get out if bed, or off the couch. Feels terrible to be curled up and stuck in the D thoughts and feel nervous doing tasks and things and fighting the thoughts, "this is stupid, this won't help, I'm still a loser" and blah friggin blah.

can I return my head for a new one? I think I still have the receipt!

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I'm suffering through a really horrible downturn myself, IT, but because I've been doing things so long, no matter how bad I feel I still do them as a matter of routine. That's that what you have to do. Build a routine, develop habits that are that are designed to help you. No matter how awful you feel, take a walk at 1:00. Like I said before, your reward will be the couch when you get back.

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I read that about Bruce Springsteen too! I was really amazed!

IT, I am in a very down place right now too. I am in physical and mental pain, but because I'm alone I have to get up and go to work, no matter what. It's really hard sometimes. So, I can relate to what you are going through.

I agree with the poster who said to do one little thing. Do that one thing, no matter how small, and try to build on it. Some days you will feel you are going backwards, but some days you will see yourself moving forward.

As far as your wife is concerned, maybe you should help educate her. Read the articles posted around on the DF. Print off the ones that might help her to understand your situation better. However, I really feel that only other depresseed people can really understand what depression can do to a person.

Please keep trying. Knowing you are out there trying, helps me to try also. Lets hold hands! :-)

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Man, can I relate to this !

The place where I live and grew up has a long tradition of men being "above" any kind of perceived mental "weakness".

I was actually shunned and lost a few of my friends who looked down on me as not being able to "handle it like a man". While the medical system treated my illness as an illness and beyond my control, once inpatient and follow-up care was over I found it really hard to find any male support groups. Compound that with the fact that I am a male who was sexually abused and the pool gets much smaller.

Such things are still considered as being unmanly here.

Good therapists can be found however, and I did find one who was not the least bit judgemental. I also found this forum and talking to others who could empathise is a real help. There is help if you keep looking so whatever you do don't give up!

(As far as I know, you're head is non-returnable with or without the receipt.)

E.F.

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