Depression in Men:
A Taboo?

Depression in men is a serious condition that most of the time remains untreated.

Many men refuse to admit that they may be suffering from depression because it is perceived as a sign of “weakness”. Instead of seeking help, men are more likely to deal with the depression by themselves. In severe cases, the way to deal with it is by drinking heavily, indulging in other substances or committing suicide.

Also, the stigma of depression as a women’s condition tends to keep men from recognizing the symptoms of depression and seeking prompt and appropriate treatment.

Rule # 1: “Men Don’t Cry”

Our society has imposed over us some of the most ridiculous rules that in many cases have hindered the normal development of human beings.

Men are brought up to be “strong” and in “control”. Showing emotions or expressing feelings is seen as a sign of “weakness”. But at the same time, it is socially well accepted for men, to be violent towards others and express aggression and anger in different ways.

Men's Depression is Usually Left Untreated

There are two main reasons why depression in men is left untreated:

Failure to recognize depression: Men tend to deny having emotional problems because they are supposed to "be strong." We all think that the only symptoms of depression are sadness and hopelessness but the truth is that fatigue, chronic pain or even a stomachache can be signs of depression in men.

Apprehension to discuss depression symptoms and seek treatment: It may be very difficult for men to accept that they may be suffering from depression, especially for the stigma that exists in our society. Men are told to “toughen up” and that crying is for girls… As a man, opening up about your feelings to friends or family can be very challenging but at the same time liberating.

Seeking Treatment

Once diagnosed, male depression can be successfully treated.

Discuss with your doctor the appropriate treatment for you. I always recommend therapy treatments such as cognitive therapy for mild depression cases but only a health professional is entitled to evaluate your particular case and suggest the most appropriate treatment. If you are still hesitating about visiting your doctor you can start by looking for help and information in:

• family service agencies

• community mental health centers

• local medical and/or psychiatric societies

Remember that you can also start by talking to people that like you, have dealt with depression in their lives. Check out these depression support groups.

It is O.K. to be Vulnerable

The idea that men are supposed to suppress their emotions and hide away any sign of sensitivity is ridiculous!! Times have changed and we are learning that life is much more than the roles we are supposed to play in society.

It is O.K. to be vulnerable and it is perfectly O.K. to show emotions. That is part of our humanity. Judgments and prejudice make us something that we are not.

The message throughout this website is a message of love. A healing that can only happens by loving, accepting and embracing your life and Who You Are…

So, be vulnerable and cry when you need to because that is what makes you unique, genuine and true to yourself.

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