That’s the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as they see the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to ever see the end. The fog is like a cage without a key.—Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation
There exists an underlying theme in manhood that says we do not get depressed. We do not get sad unless you are one of those emotional types. We tough out the things that eat away at us. But the fact is, millions of men every year suffer from full-blown depression, and many of them go untreated. This creates serious ramifications in all the aspects of life from relationships, parenting, and careers.
Something is not right and we know it. We think to ourselves, “I’m depressed.” It’s all so confusing and crippling. We can’t find the way out. Some men may react to this situation by becoming aggressive and angry. Others can become lethargic and perhaps even lose their will to live. Leaving all of this at the mercy of a cultural mindset that says to be strong at all costs can lead to the destruction of untold lives and families. It doesn’t have to be that way. Being strong is actually having the fortitude to seek help for the sake of our own lives and the people who love and depend on us.
Treating depression fully includes both clinical and spiritual components. Treating depression fully includes both clinical and spiritual components. Just one and not the other will leave an opening for the illness to remain. Below we will take a look at symptoms and treatment and form a battle plan to achieve mental wellness.
The symptoms of depression are common to many other issues and having one or some of these doesn’t mean you are, but when the list is piling up with a lot of yes answers, it’s certainly time to begin reaching out.
Exhaustion and fatigue, loss of interest in pleasurable activity, changes in appetite, sleep disorders, apathy, migraine headaches, back and chest pain, muscle and joint pain, digestive problems, dizziness, unusual weight loss or gain, being withdrawn, irritability, hostile and aggressive behavior, substance abuse, and decreased sexual desire.
For the symptoms answered with a yes, consider possible causes other than depression, but assess honestly if depression could be the culprit of the mystery of why we are feeling so terribly low.
Left untreated, depression can have devastating ramifications. The Center for Disease Control has concluded that U.S. men are 4 times more likely to commit suicide than women. Over 75% of all United States suicides are males —though more women actually attempt the act. Men are more likely to go through with it. Antidepressant medication and professional therapy can successfully treat depression at a rate of more than 80%. There exists a wide variety of sources to seek help, starting with your family doctor and/or employee assistance programs. For the sake of your own life and your family that needs you, do not allow social stigma and peer pressure to keep you from treatment.
In my personal experience, faith has a healing power that can be tapped into that creates great mental renewal. Medical science can cure or ease physical and mental burdens, but only faith in something greater than us can heal a hurting soul. The ancient figure, David, from the book of Psalms, endured a lot of suffering. Yet, during a prolonged unbearable period of being stripped bare of all human dignity, he continually talked openly about it and didn’t isolate. It is a testimony of actual manly strength and his faith in God renewed him. My personal advice to the readers on this matter: Seek renewal by earnest faith. The answer may not look like you expect, but when a man puts his faith in God help will arrive.
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with a trusted friend and ask, “Can I share with you some things I have been going through lately?”