- Depression can cause sleeping difficulties
- The situation becomes worrisome if it affects daily functioning
- Seeking professional help is important for depression treatment
Symptoms of depression can be different in men and women. Men also tend to use different coping skills. Brain chemistry, hormones and different life experiences may be responsible for this. Depression symptoms which are same in both men and women include feeling of helplessness, hopelessness and sadness, extreme fatigue, difficulty in sleeping or sleeping too much, and not getting pleasure from activities usually enjoyed.
There are other signs, or behaviours, which could signal depression but are not as widely recognised. These include escapist behaviour like spending too much time at work or on sports. Digestive problems, headaches, increased intake of alcohol, controlling violent or abusive behaviour could be symptoms of depression, reports mayoclinic.org.
Symptoms of depression in men
Psychiatrist Dr Sanjay Chugh says that depression is a mood disorder in which the primary disturbance is in the mood of person experiencing depression. "The cardinal symptom of depression is therefore low mood, sadness and feeling blue, along with a lot of weepiness for no evident reason" he says.
"Some men, especially adolescent males, we can also expect to see a lot of irritability. Men can also experience anhedonia, which refers to lack of interest or pleasure in things which were interesting or pleasurable," Dr Chugh explains.
Talking about the physical symptoms of depression which men shouldn't ignore, Dr Chugh says that they may find it difficult to sleep and may experience decrease in appetite followed by unintentional weight loss. They can also experience an increase in sleep and increase in appetite and weight gain. "These symptoms may also be accompanied by problems with decision making and concentration," he adds.
The situation gets worrisome when the person begins to develop feelings of hopelesseness, helplessness and worthlessness. "It is known as the cognitive triad of depression. The person basically sees no hope of things getting any better. If these symptoms stay for some time, then the person eventually begins to feel that the life is not worth living," Dr Chugh says.
A young male who does not have any physical problems is unlikely to have natural death. It is the painful thoughts which manifest in him, which are painful. The person feels that harming (or killing) himself will give a solution to the problems.
Significant impairment in personal functioning, inter-personal or social functioning or your occupational functioning is the moment when depression becomes a cause of concern and needs immediate attention. "If these symptoms appear, the depression needs to be looked at as a medical illness. These are warning signs of depression," says Dr Chugh.
(Dr Sanjay Chugh is Senior Consultant Psychiatrist at Dr. Chugh's Neuropsychiatry Clinic, New Delhi)
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