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Why Depression Often Goes Undiagnosed in Men

Although depression is a problem that affects millions of people, it often gets overlooked as just being moody or feeling sad. People across many different age groups deal with this mental illness for many reasons, but for men the effects of depression have been the most fatal. A recent study shows that one in 10 men suffers from some form of depression or anxiety, but not even half get any treatment. And while women attempt suicide more frequently than men, adult males succeed at comtting suicide four times more often. If you’re a man dealing with depression, please understand you are not alone and know that confronting it will help you cope.

Six out of 10 men deal with some form of trauma from injury, assault or accident. Many of these incidents can lead them to suffer from many physical or mental conditions (including depression) that need treatment.

When urological issues  —  such as cancer, lower urinary tract symptoms, and erectile dysfunction  — lead to these elevated levels of depression and anxiety, Dr. Mark Kelly, practicing urology the Santa Monica, California, area, can help you while working with other specialists to manage your overall health.

How depression works

Depression is more than just getting the blues once in a while and can have debilitating effects on your life. Referred to as depressive disorder or clinical depression, depression is a mood disorder that affects how you think and behave. Chronic depression is the term for people who deal with the condition on a regular basis. Whether you have one episode or many in a lifetime, dealing with depression often means experiencing:

Dealing with these issues on a regular basis can affect your ability to function normally in your day-to-day activities and can lead to problems dealing with other people. 

How men miss being diagnosed

Many people feel unhappy and don’t realize they’re dealing with depression, as the symptoms may vary from person to person. With men it becomes more problematic because when they start showing signs of depression they often suppress feelings like sadness and the urge to cry. 

According to a study in The American Journal of Psychiatry, the factors that lead to depression are also different between men and women. Often women deal with depression stemming from issues with marriage, divorce, or social support issues but are more willing to seek help. Many men, on the other hand, suppress signs of depression coming from financial, legal, and work stress as well as drug abuse. Research indicates that rather than seeking out any form of help men will take career and personal failures and turn to alcohol and drugs. Men are more likely to see their failures as weakness, and this causes many to ignore the signs of depression.

There are also physical injuries or conditions that impair your ability to perform normal activities that can also lead to depression. Injuries that lead to changes in lifestyle (severe limb or back injuries, head trauma, etc) hormonal imbalances that may come from age, erectile dysfunction, and prostate cancer can all affect your personal life severely enough to cause depression.

Add to this the social stigma of being mentally ill with the reluctance that many men have with seeking help, and you have a recipe for millions of men suffering in silence.

How to cope with depression

Coping with depression means coming to grips with the condition and seeking help. If you’re suffering in silence, treatment for depression does help. Therapy and medication can make dealing with this illness easier, as can being more open to discuss these issues with friends and loved ones. There is no substitute for admitting there is a problem and seeking help, and help is available.

Please get help if you’re dealing with depression. If you’re ready to get started on the road to treatment, make an appointment with Dr. Kelly today.

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