Men Therapy Toronto
Depression in Men
Many men suffer from depression. The consequence of depression in men can include a lack of energy and overall interest in life, a lack of interest in activities and relationships, and sexual dysfunction (i.e. erectile dysfunction) to name a few. Oftentimes (not always) men who experience depression are carrying beliefs about themselves or fears about themselves that they either believe to be true or feel deeply ashamed about. Shame reinforces the feeling of depression in men. Many men feel ashamed by the sheer fact that they are feeling depressed and how that it reflects poorly on who they are as men.
Men who are depressed often feel alone and isolated from people but also more specifically from other men. To the man who is depressed, they may look at other men with the projection that those other men don’t share their same concern or problem (depression).
Common Symptoms of Depression in Men
- Lack of sleep or oversleeping
- Poor diet (either not eating enough or overeating)
- Coping behaviors (i.e. excessive watching of porn or tv, drinking or drugging)
- Isolation & Loneliness
- Lack of energy and interest in activities that previously provided joy
- Decreased production at work or entire focus on work
- Lack of meaningful relationships
- Sexual dysfunction or lack of interest in sex
- Not feeling present
- Feeling irritable or angry
- Physical pain (neck, back pains, overall muscle pain)
Treatment for Depression in Men
For men, the first part is to acknowledge the feeling of depression and not judge it. There is nothing wrong with feeling depressed any more than there is anything wrong with getting a headache. A man would not blame himself for getting a headache but often time men accuse themselves of their depression. Depression can be a very healthy experience for a man as it could be simply pointing to the fact that a change is taking place. Just the act of sitting with a therapist can be therapeutic for a man as often it may be the first time that they can express themselves openly and without being judged.
Depression may have roots in pains and hurts that have taken place long ago and treatment must explore this possibility. A deeper look at the various relationships present in the man’s life is also important to address particularly when relationships of meaning and depth are absent. Treating depression is not a fight that a therapist and client embark on together in an effort to eradicate the perceived enemy (i.e. depression). Treating depression is more about reawakening in the man what is deeply important to him for himself and his life.