Depression in men: suffering in silence | British Psychological Society

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 300 million people suffer from depression – which is characterised by deep sadness, lethargy, feelings of worthlessness, and a loss of interest in social activities – and half of those do not receive treatment, either due to lack of awareness or due to stigma.There is, after all, still a perception among many that men should be strong and always in control of their emotions.But the fact is that both men and women get depressed, and the symtoms of depression are similar regardless of gender.However, men tend to be less adept at recognising symptoms of depression than women.

Read on: Depression in men: suffering in silence | BPS Beta Site

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Postpartum depression can affect dads – and their hormones may be to blame

Postpartum depression has become more visible as celebrity moms including Brooke Shields, Drew Barrymore and Chrissy Teigen have publicly shared their struggles with feeling sad and hopeless after birth. But when a father – Adam Busby, from reality TV show “OutDaughtered” – recently opened up about his own postpartum depression, he received instant backlash, including comments telling him to “man up.”

Despite the skepticism, postpartum depression in fathers is very real, with estimates that around 10 percent of men report symptoms of depression following the birth of a child, about double the typical rate of depression in males. Postpartum depression in women has been linked with hormonal shifts, but the role of hormones in men’s postpartum depression has been unknown.

Read on: Postpartum depression can affect dads – and their hormones may be to blame

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Men and Depression

burne_jones_prince_entering_the_briar_wood_detail_smSoon after I created this website in 1995, I wrote an article about women and depression. At that time it was believed that women suffer from depression about twice as often as men do, although no one was sure why. Some hypotheses posed biological reasons, such as greater incidence of sexual assault and abuse and role in society.

I was never completely comfortable with the idea that more women than men were depressed. It didn’t seem to make sense to me. For one thing, most of the famous people with depression who came to mind (for me, at least) were men. Winston Churchill, Mike Wallace, Abraham Lincoln, Robin Williams and Terry Bradshaw, to name a few. Not that famous women didn’t come to mind, but I couldn’t come up with a much larger number of more women than men.

The other thing that bothered me, as it always does, is that there was no clear reason why women would experience depression so much more than men. I admit that I like to have reasons for things; I don’t want there to be unknowns when it comes to something like depression. And all the explanations for the disparity were vague at best. Hormones, sure. Societal issues, maybe. But nothing that accounted for this purportedly large difference in the numbers between men and women.

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Jared Padalecki Opens Up About His Struggle with Anxiety and Depression: I’m Not Alone

Jared Padalecki wants you to know that you are not alone. Whatever you may be struggling with, whether it’s mental health issues, or any other hardship in your life, the Supernatural star is doing everything he can to lend his support to anyone in need. After going public with his own battle with anxiety and depression, Padalecki recently launched a charity T-shirt campaign, Always Keep Fighting, to benefit nonprofit organization To Write Love on Her Arms, which supports people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.

Source: Jared Padalecki Opens Up About His Struggle with Anxiety and Depression: I’m Not Alone

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I am depressed and I have decided to get help – John Woodcock MP | UK news | theguardian.com

When I fell off my attic ladder last year and ended up in hospital, it was the latest in a string of physical mishaps that led some of my friends to call me parliament’s Mr Bump.

First I had done in my knee running for a vote and ended up on crutches. Then I was assaulted on a train in a way that was not in truth very serious but people imagined was painful, particularly when a CCTV image of my rather well-built assailant was released to the media.

All of this was a bit embarrassing but nothing to hide away or be ashamed of. Hell, I even agreed to let my local paper, the North-West Evening Mail, come and take a picture of me in hospital after my ladder escapade.

via I am depressed and I have decided to get help – John Woodcock MP | UK news | theguardian.com.

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Severely Injured Vets May Need Ongoing Emotional Care

(HealthDay News) — U.S. veterans who suffered major limb injuries in combat showed little improvement with mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the two years after receiving treatment for their wounds, researchers report.

Their pain levels showed the most improvement three to six months after their initial hospitalization and then leveled off, according to the study, which is scheduled for presentation Thursday at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

via Severely Injured Vets May Need Ongoing Emotional Care.

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Mike Wallace’s Contribution to Our Understanding of Depression

“I didnt know what was the matter with me. All I knew was that I was feeling lower than a snake’s belly…I remember we used to go to restaurants, and I’d say ‘Everybody’s pointing at me, the cheat, the fraud, the fake. You really believe these things! Astonishing!”

Mike Wallace, who died April 7 at the age of 93, will be probably be remembered by most people as a legendary, take-no-prisoners interviewer (according to his 2005 memoir “Between You and Me,” he was given the title of “The Terrible Torquemada of the TV Inquisition” even before “60 Minutes” launched in 1968). But to many others, he’ll be remembered as one of the first public figures who was brave enough to open up about his clinical depression, including the suicide attempt that led to his depression diagnosis and treatment.

In 1984 Wallace was dealing not only with the breakup of his marriage of nearly 30 years, but also a libel suit brought by General Westmoreland against Wallace and CBS over a documentary about the Vietnam War. The case went to trial in the fall of 1984. Eventually, the stress of the trial and the attacks on Wallace’s reputation and integrity by the plaintiff’s attorney and the media began to take their toll. He started having trouble sleeping and lost both his appetite and his interest in doing things he normally enjoyed. “Like most people, I’d been down in the dumps on other occasions for one reason or another, but never before had I experienced this kind of constant, mind-wracking despondency.”

Wallace consulted his family doctor, a friend of his, who told him, “You’re a tough guy. You’ll get through it.” When his friend Mary, who he married in 1986, brought up depression, the doctor was quick to say, “Forget the word depression, because that’ll be bad for your image.”

Wallace struggled on with his depression until the end of the year, when he attempted suicide by taking sleeping pills. Mary called an ambulance, and Wallace was taken to the hospital, where his stomach was pumped. There he finally was diagnosed with depression, and started treatment with talk therapy and antidepressants.

Like many people, he discontinued his antidepressant after a time (against his doctor’s advice), believing that he no longer needed it. In addition, the side effects of the first antidepressant he took, Ludiomil, were problematic. Wallace subsequently had two relapses into depression, and during the last one, in 1993, he was prescribed Zoloft. He decided that staying on the antidepressant for the rest of his life was “a small price to pay.”

For a while, he did not talk about his depression. The public announcement about the hospitalization following his suicide attempt said that he was suffering from “nervous exhaustion.” “I was ashamed. It was a confession of weakness. For years, depression meant the crazy house. As I look back at it, it just seems damned foolishness. Really, really damned foolishness.”

Eventually, he said, “I gradually came around to the view that if I talked about my experience in public, it just might help others come to a better and more accurate understanding of depression.” Along with William Styron and Art Buchwald, two of his close friends who also suffered from depression, he appeared at mental health fund-raising events (they called themselves “the Blues Brothers”).

Wallace was an unlikely public “face” of depression, one whose contribution to the public acceptance of depression cannot be overstated. For a man of his generation, a public figure, to expose the most painful side of his personal life in order to help erase the stigma of depression and encourage others to get help was an incredibly courageous and generous act.

Sources

Cronkite, K. (1994). On the Edge of Darkness. New York, NY: Delta.

Puma, M. (Producer) (2009). Mike Wallace: Depression [Television series episode]. In Statz-Smith, T. (Executive Producer), Healthy Minds. WLIW21. Retrieved from http://watch.wliw.org/video/1317618543/

Wallace, M., & Gates, G. P. (2007). Between You and Me: A Memoir. New York, NY: Hyperion eBook.

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Darren’s Letter

The Lament for Icarus by Herbert James Draper

Most of us who have accepted our mental illness have had those moments of profound irritation or anger when we hear the subject of mental illness and its treatment used as a source of comic relief. Prozac has been relentlessly marketed, and has become a household name, and therefore is tossed around in conversation by people who know nothing about depression or antidepressants. Most of us have heard someone say, “Oh, take a Prozac and lighten up,” or something to that effect. Darren Ross read an article by a writer who referred to Prozac twice in a completely ignorant manner, and decided to take the time to try to set the record straight by writing a letter to the editor. I’m sure he educated a good number of people, and since he addressed many myths and misconceptions about depression and mental illness so well, I asked him if I could include his letter on my web page. I would suggest that if you are trying to educate someone about mental illness, depression and its treatment, you print off this section and give it to them.

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