Biological, psychological, and social factors all play a part in depression in men, as do lifestyle choices, relationships, and coping skills. Stressful life events or anything that makes you feel helpless, profoundly sad, or overwhelmed by stress can also trigger depression in men, including:
- Overwhelming stress at work, school, or home
- Marital or relationship problems
- Not reaching important goals
- Losing or changing a job; embarking on military service
- Constant money problems
- Health problems such as chronic illness, injury, disability
- Recently quitting smoking
- Death of a loved one
- Family responsibilities such as caring for children, spouse, or aging parents
- Retirement; loss of independence
Treatment of Depression
A combination of medication and psychotherapy is effective for most people with depression. Changes in lifestyle can also help.
In mild cases of depression, daily exercise, improved eating habits, and a specific sleep routine can assist in alleviating some symptoms.
Psychotherapy is a general term that refers to treating depression by talking through your triggers and responses with a licensed mental health professional. There are different types of psychotherapy that can be effective in treating depression.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): This short-term therapy works to replace negative and unproductive thought patterns with more realistic and useful ones. This treatment focuses on taking specific steps to manage and reduce symptoms.
- Interpersonal “talk” therapy: This attachment-focused therapy centers on resolving interpersonal problems and symptomatic recovery.
- Problem solving therapy: This treatment helps people learn tools to effectively manage the negative effects of stressful life events.
Psychotherapy can help people with depression:
- Cope with a crisis
- Identify and replace negative beliefs
- Explore relationships and experiences and build positive connections
- Find adaptive ways to solve problems
- Identify issues that contribute to depression
- Set realistic goals
- Develop the ability to tolerate stress and distress.
Either a primary care physician or a psychiatrist can assist with medication management. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) medications are both effective treatments for depression. Other possible medications include norepinephrine dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRI), atypical antidepressants, tricyclic antidepressants, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI).
Different people have different responses to medications. It’s important to work closely with your primary care physician or psychiatrist and report any side effects. Never stop taking antidepressant medication without consulting the prescribing doctor. Stopping treatment abruptly can produce withdrawal-like symptoms and cause a sudden worsening of depressive symptoms.
Severe cases of depression can require hospitalization. Psychiatric care in a hospital setting helps patients stay safe until their mood improves, particularly in the case of suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts.