There is amongst men in the United States a heritage of the ‘tough guy’ image. We are told to look up to stalwart role models who were always in control of their feelings, who never admitted to sadness or regret, but rather soldiered on, taking the worst that life could throw at them with an almost rugged indifference, seemingly made of iron and able to deal with any adversity. What’s missing from this picture is that real men don’t work like that; we’re not robots, we actually do have feelings, insecurities, desires and emotions. As such, men can become caught between the need to appear tough and the reality of what they’re going through, leading to depression that they seek to hide from the world. This denial of depression can cause the depression to grow worse, which is why it is crucial that we be able to detect it amongst our loved ones. In today’s article we will review two common symptoms to help you do just that.
One of the most common symptoms of depression amongst men is the upswing of being fatigued. Men who are depressed will often experience a series of emotional and physical changes, with fatigue probably being the most common. Lethargy, a lack of energy, desire to act, to move, to do anything that they once enjoyed is often simply attributed to poor sleep and consequent fatigue when in fact it is depression that is sapping them of their energy. This can also be accompanied by ‘psychomotor retardation’, or the slowing down of reflexes and movements, even speech and thought processes. Men have been documented as being more likely to report their depression as ‘fatigue’ then women, and thus constantly being tired is definitely a red flag.
What is key to understand is that since it is socially unacceptable to talk about depression and feelings of sadness, men will often report their problems under a different name. One such common culprit is stress. When a guy says that he has been feeling very stressed of late, that can in fact be simple code for depressed, as they find language that is safe to use in public to discuss dangerous topics. This can be another red flag for people who are alert.
These two symptoms are but a couple out of many ways that men might manifest depression, and in the end the best way to tell is to be in touch and listen to them when theyspeak.