24 Apr Depression: What It Looks Like
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that “more than 300 million people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015.” And less than half of those people will ever seek treatment. We already know that low testosterone and depression are at least somewhat connected (to find out more, check out this article). But if you don’t know what to look for, you won’t be able to identify depression and get help. Symptoms often show up differently in men and women, so we’ve split them up below.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of stigma about depression and other mental illnesses. Guys might think that they’re “weak” or “not manly” if they admit to needing help with this stuff, even though that is absolutely not true. A lot of people are working to increase awareness and negate the stigma, but the belief is pretty ingrained in our society. Symptoms might look a little different for men and women, so here’s what some common symptoms are for men.
The bad feelings become more severe. Again, everyone has their good days and bad days, but if those bad days suddenly become worse (like, if they start lasting for multiple days or weeks, or if you feel a lot lower than you normally would on a bad day), consider bringing it up with a health care provider.
You’re angry for no reason. Usually you can identify what triggers anger, whether it was someone who cut you off in traffic or a snide comment from a coworker. However, if you find that you’re mad and you can’t think of what set you off, it might be a sign that you’re depressed.
You’re turning to other substances for relief. Over a quarter of men dealing with depression turn to substances like alcohol or drugs. While these might temporarily alleviate the physical and mental pain that can come with depression, it’s not healthy, and it doesn’t work long term. If you want long-term results, talk to a health care provider about what’s going on.
The numbers are hard to crunch since most cases of depression are never reported or treated, but it’s estimated that about twice as many women experience depression as men. Here’s what it might look like.
You’re feeling anxious, “empty,” or sad. While it’s normal to have some ups and downs, feelings of sadness or anxiety shouldn’t persist for extended periods of time. If you feel like you’re constantly feeling down or distressed, talk to a health care provider about what your options are.
Your appetite or sleep habits have changed dramatically. Depression often leaves people feeling exhausted and worn out. Not only will you feel like you need more sleep, but you might also struggle with simply getting out of bed in the morning. Depression can also tamper with your appetite, causing you to overeat and gain weight or not eat enough and lose it.
Thoughts of suicide. A chilling statistic tells us that women are twice as likely as men to attempt suicide (although men are more likely to die by suicide). If you are having any thoughts of worthlessness, hopelessness, or death, don’t just wait for these feelings to go away. Schedule an appointment with a health care professional who can get you the help you need.
If you’ve been feeling down, call LT Men’s Clinic today at (817) 416-5698 and schedule an appointment. We’ll run a test to see if low testosterone levels may be contributing to your mood, and if your levels are low, we can work with you to get those levels back to normal again.