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Depression In Middle Aged Males

What Exactly Is A Midlife Crisis

Video: More men are dying by suicide, especially middle-aged men

A midlife crisis is generally defined as a transition of identity and self-confidence that occurs in a middle-aged person . This psychological crisis is fueled by events that bring to light a persons age, inevitable mortality, and perhaps a lack of notable accomplishments in adult life. Hence, midlife crises in men are very similar to midlife crises in women.

Not surprisingly, people can then experience depression, anxiety, and the desire to make significant life changes.

Incidentally, the term midlife crisis was coined by Canadian psychoanalyst and social scientist, Elliott Jaques, in 1957.

But recent studies have shown that most middle-aged people dont actually experience a midlife crisis. In fact, some have questioned if the midlife crisis even exists.

However, for many of us, the midlife crisis is all too real.

Why a Midlife Crisis Happens

It bears repeating that recent studies seem to reject the idea that most adults go through a midlife crisis. Researchers believe that personality type and a history of psychological issues predispose some people to the traditional midlife crisis.

Of course, common day-to-day stressors can pile up, causing middle-aged adults to believe they are having a crisis. Midlife crises in men may sometimes be just midlife stressors.

Stages Of A Midlife Crisis

There are three stages of a midlife crisis. Understanding which stage a person is at, is beneficial in helping them overcome their midlife crisis. The three stages are:

The Trigger

Any incident in your life that brings you to the realization that nothing in your life is like how it used to be is what the trigger for a midlife crisis is like. This trigger can be bereavement, the fear of death, losing a job, or being faced with a medical illness.

The Crisis

This is the period where you try and understand just how much your life has changed. You try and reevaluate all your relationships, goals, skills, and achievements. It is normal to come into conflict with how your life is and feel hopeless, lost, and helpless.

The Resolution

After the crisis, when you begin to adjust to the new reality and learn to accept the new you, is the resolution stage. It is the outcome of all your efforts in the crisis stage and determine solely on how you handled the challenges middle age threw your way.

Other Ways To Help Include:

  • Offering him support, understanding, patience, and encouragement
  • Listening carefully and talking with him
  • Never ignoring comments about suicide, and alerting his therapist or doctor
  • Helping him increase his level of physical and social activity by inviting him out for hikes, games, and other events. If he says, no, keep trying, but don’t push him to take on too much too soon.
  • Encouraging him to report any concerns about medications to his health care provider
  • Ensuring that he gets to his doctor’s appointments
  • Reminding him that with time and treatment, the depression will lift

Also Check: How Do Doctors Test You For Depression

Tip : Seek Social Support

Work commitments can often make it difficult for men to find time to maintain friendships, but the first step to tackling male depression is to find people you can really connect with, face-to-face. That doesnt mean simply trading jokes with a coworker or chatting about sports with the guy sitting next to you in a bar. It means finding someone you feel comfortable sharing your feelings with, someone wholl listen to you without judging you, or telling you how you should think or feel.

You may think that discussing your feelings isnt very macho, but whether youre aware of it or not, youre already communicating your feelings to those around you youre just not using words. If youre short-tempered, drinking more than usual, or punching holes in the wall, those closest to you will know somethings wrong. Choosing to talk about what youre going through, instead, can actually help you feel better.

Treating Depression In Middle

Depression Treatment for Middle Aged Men

There is no denying that depression is a real mental health challenge which can affect anyone. It is not a disease which can be treated through will power alone, but it is one of the most treatable mental health conditions.

Educating middle-aged men about depression and encouraging communication are the first steps in reducing the suicide casualties from this debilitating disease.

Treatment can start with your GP or with a meant health practitioner. In most circumstances, your family doctor will recommend a physical check-up so they can rule out age-related disorders and other illnesses.

Depression can be treated successfully through talk therapy or psychotherapy. The therapist will guide you through your thoughts and feelings to help you identify what may be contributing to your symptoms. Education on changing negative thought patterns into positive ones can also be effective.

Other measures used in treating depression include support groups such as those which help you cope with losing a loved one. Working through your issues as part of a group helps you to realize that you are not alone in your feelings, as well as be a source of reliable advice and encouragement.

Read Also: Sun Lamp Therapy For Depression

Objective 4 What Other Factors Are Associated With Depression Among Canadians Aged 45 To 85 After Controlling For Immigration Status

Consistent with previous research, our results support that among middle-aged and older adults, those who are women, working-age , married, have lower education, and have less annual income are more likely to experience depression. Previous research has consistently shown that being female and being unmarried are associated with more depressive symptoms , while research findings about the interaction between sex and age on depressive symptoms remained inconsistent . The association of depression with lower socioeconomic status is consistent across both cross-sectional investigations and longitudinal research of older adults in the Netherlands and examination of depression and education attainment over the life course in the US . Our study provides further evidence of the gradient effect between income level and depression.

In addition to demographic, social, and economic characteristics, associations between physical health factors and depression were also supported by previous findings. Consistent with a meta-analysis focusing on older adults, presence of chronic disease is an independent risk factor of depression . Longitudinal studies of older adults also indicate that experiencing pain is associated with depression . Having other physical conditions, such as hypertension, are also associated with depression among older adults .

How To Reach Out For Depression Support

Look for support from people who make you feel safe and cared for. The person you talk to doesnt have to be able to fix you they just need to be a good listener-someone wholl listen attentively and compassionately without being distracted or judging you.

Make face-time a priority. Phone calls, social media, and texting are great ways to stay in touch, but they dont replace good old-fashioned in-person quality time. The simple act of talking to someone face to face about how you feel can play a big role in relieving depression and keeping it away.

Try to keep up with social activities even if you dont feel like it. Often when youre depressed, it feels more comfortable to retreat into your shell, but being around other people will make you feel less depressed.

Find ways to support others. Its nice to receive support, but research shows you get an even bigger mood boost from providing support yourself. So find ways-both big and small-to help others: volunteer, be a listening ear for a friend, do something nice for somebody.

Care for a pet. While nothing can replace the human connection, pets can bring joy and companionship into your life and help you feel less isolated. Caring for a pet can also get you outside of yourself and give you a sense of being needed-both powerful antidotes to depression.

Even if youve retreated from relationships that were once important to you, make the effort to reconnect.

Also Check: Anti Depression Meds That Cause Weight Loss

Is Depression Common In Elderly Men

Although depression is not a normal part of aging, senior men may have medical conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, or other stressors that may contribute to depression. For example, there may be excessive losses . Retirement is difficult for many men because they end up with no routine or set schedule to follow. These changes may increase the stress they feel, and a loss of self-esteem may contribute to depression. In addition, the death of family and friends, the onset of other health problems, and some medications can contribute to depression in men.

Tip : Challenge Negative Thinking

Video: More men are dying by suicide, especially middle-aged men

Do you feel like youre powerless or weak? That bad things happen and theres not much you can do about it? That your situation is hopeless? Depression puts a negative spin on everything, including the way you see yourself and your expectations for the future.

When these types of thoughts overwhelm you, its important to remember that this is a symptom of your depression and these irrational, pessimistic attitudesknown as cognitive distortionsarent realistic. When you really examine them they dont hold up. But even so, they can be tough to give up.

You cant break out of this pessimistic mind frame by telling yourself to just think positive. Often, its part of a lifelong pattern of thinking thats become so automatic youre not even completely aware of it. Rather, the trick is to identify the type of negative thoughts that are fueling your depression, and replace them with a more balanced way of thinking.

Read Also: Mental Hospital For Anxiety And Depression

Why Is Male Depression Often Undiagnosed

Research suggests that rates of undiagnosed depression are substantially higher in men than women, according to theAmerican Journal of Mens Health. A big part of the reason for that has to do with the way society sees men. That societal image of what a man is supposed to bestrong, stoic, able to deal with things on his owncan affect a mans ability to recognize depression and seek help for it.

Men are less likely to come forward about depression because theres more stigma for men, says William S. Pollack, Ph.D., director of the Centers for Men and Young Men and assistant clinical professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School. Even with our more androgynous, spectrum idea of gender, we still have fairly dyed-in-the-wool views of masculinity, which include, in general, seeing depression as not just another medical illness, but also as a weakness.

As a result, men are much less likely to talk to anyone about their low mood, let alone a complete stranger. Its not considered manly or masculine to talk about your feelings, although this attitude has been changing in recent years.

Its definitely gotten better, says Pollack. Oddly enough, during the pandemic its gotten better in a split way. A certain percentage of men are much more likely to come for help, and another percentage of men are less likely.

Just talking to someone else can improve someones mood for a while, says Dr. Pollack.

Older Men And Depression

Depression affects people of all ages. It is not an inevitable or normal aspect of ageing, although some of the changes that may accompany ageing, such as poor health and the loss of peers and loved ones, may contribute to it. Here MensLine Australia explores how to recognise the symptoms of depression, and how to treat it.

Depression affects people of all ages.

It is not an inevitable or normal aspect of ageing, although some of the changes that may accompany ageing, such as poor health and the loss of peers and loved ones, may contribute to it.

Most of us will feel sadness or grief during our lives, that feeling is normal and will usually not last very long. Depression is an intense feeling of sadness that lasts for a long time, sometimes weeks, months or years and can interfere with your day-to-day life.

Depression can be caused by biological, social and psychological factors. Causes of depression in later life may include difficulty in adjusting to retirement, loss of friends or loved ones, chronic illness, and financial pressure.

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What Causes Male Depression

Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the world. According to theAmerican Psychiatric Association, about 1 in 6 people will experience depression at some point in their life, and physicians believe there are a variety of risk factors.

Men with a family history of depression are more likely to develop depression themselves, suggesting genetic factors may have something to do with it. In older men, in particular, depression can often set in as a result of other health issues like diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or Parkinsons disease, and the depression can often make the symptoms of those medical conditions worse. Medications taken for other health issues can sometimes cause depression as a side effect.

Stress, trauma, major life changes, the loss of a loved one, or a difficult relationship can bring on depression for men and women alike, but financial problems and work problems may affect men more than women because of the stereotypes we often associate with each gender.

The old cultural myth is that men are supposed to be the breadwinners, says Korner. Theyre not supposed to have any weaknesses, and going to talk to a therapist is a way to show youre not making it.

How Is Depression In Men Treated

The creeping depression of middle age

More than 80% of people with depression — both men and women — can be treated successfully with antidepressant medication, psychotherapy, a combination of both. or à brainà stimulation techniques like ECT or TMS . If you are uncertain about whom to call for help with depression, check out the following list from the National Institute of Mental Health:

  • Community mental health centers
  • Hospital psychiatry departments and outpatient clinics
  • Local medical or psychiatric societies
  • Mental health specialists such as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, or mental health counselors
  • Private clinics and facilities

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Depression In Older Men

Depression can strike anyone regardless of age, ethnic background,socioeconomic status, or gender however, large-scale research studies havefound that depression is about twice as common in women as in men.In the United States, researchers estimate that in any given one-year period,depressive illnesses affect 8.5 percent of women andnearly 5 percent of men.But important questions remain to be answered about the causes underlying thisgender difference. For example, is depression truly less common among men, orare men just less likely than women to recognize, acknowledge, and seek help fordepression?In focus groups conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health to assess depression awareness, men described their own symptoms ofdepression without realizing that they were depressed. Notably, many wereunaware that “physical” symptoms, such as headaches, digestivedisorders, and chronic pain, can be associated with depression. In addition,they expressed concern about seeing a mental health professional or going to amental health clinic, thinking that people would find out and that this mighthave a negative impact on their job security, promotion potential, or healthinsurance benefits. They feared that being labeled with a diagnosis of mentalillness would cost them the respect of their family and friends, or theirstanding in the community.

What Is Male Depression

As men, we like to think of ourselves as strong and in control of our emotions. When we feel hopeless or overwhelmed by despair we often deny it or try to cover it up. But depression is a common problem that affects many of us at some point in our lives, not a sign of emotional weakness or a failing of masculinity.

Depression impacts millions of men of all ages and backgrounds, as well as those who care about themspouses, partners, friends, and family. Of course, its normal for anyone to feel down from time to time. Dips in mood are an ordinary reaction to losses, setbacks, and disappointments in life. However, male depression changes how you think, feel, and function in your daily life. It can interfere with your productivity at work or school and impact your relationships, sleep, diet, and overall enjoyment of life. Severe depression can be intense and unrelenting.

Unfortunately, depression in men often gets overlooked as many of us find it difficult to talk about our feelings. Instead, we tend to focus on the physical symptoms that often accompany male depression, such as back pain, headaches, difficulty sleeping, or sexual problems. This can result in the underlying depression going untreated, which can have serious consequences.

Also Check: Does Hrt Make You Depressed

Im Worried About Someones Mental Health How Can I Help Them

If youre concerned about a friend or relative, there are things you can do to help them.

  • Let them know youre there to listen to them without judgement.
  • Someone who is experiencing mental health problems may find it hard to reach out, so try to keep in touch. A text message or a phone call could make a big difference.
  • Find out about local services such as talking therapy or support groups. See if there are any specifically for men if you think theyd prefer that. Mind has an online directory of peer support groups in England and Wales.
  • Help them to get help. Reassure them its okay to ask for help, and that support is out there. You could help them contact their GP or accompany them to their appointment if they want you to.
  • Take care of yourself. Looking after someone else can be hard, so make sure you consider your wellbeing too.

CALM has a helpful webpage about what to do if youre worried someone might be suicidal, including warning signs, what to say and what to do next.

Is Depression Different For Men

What pushes middle-aged white men to take their lives?

While there isnt a different sort of male depression, some symptoms are more common in men than women. These include irritability, sudden anger, increased loss of control, risk-taking and aggression.

Men may also be more likely to use alcohol and drugs to cope with their depression rather than talking about it. They may use escapist behaviour too, such as throwing themselves into their work.

If you’re experiencing depression, there is help available. Read more about the symptoms of depression and ways to get support.

Also Check: Best Vitamin Supplements For Depression

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