It is estimated that 6 million men in America deal with depression, and one in three men meet the criteria for the mental health condition. Unfortunately, male depression often goes undiagnosed for multiple reasons: men are less likely to recognize the signs of depression, less likely to admit they are experiencing depressive symptoms, and less likely to seek treatment for mental health concerns.
While depression is often characterized as sadness and melancholy, many men experience depression as a rise in negative emotions, increased anger, frustration, irritability, and excessive fatigue and exhaustion, or losing interest in work, family and daily activities. When these feelings persist over time, seeking help should never be seen as a weakness.
Talk about it.
Talking about mental health is the first step to removing negative stereotypes around the condition. For men, however, this step can be especially challenging. Fear of being stigmatized or perceived as weak leads many men to stay silent or downplay and dismiss symptoms. Seeking support is not something to be embarrassed or ashamed of, and it is important to reach out to a friend, family member or professional to talk about feelings or experiences with depression.
Avoid drugs and alcohol.
Men are more likely to use alcohol and drugs when they cannot cope, rather than talking to someone and seeking emotional support. Many companies provide an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), through which employees are guaranteed private, personalized clinical support and resources to address any issue, with no identifying information going back to their employer. For those struggling with mental illness or substance abuse, utilizing the EAP is an effective way to get assistance and feel supported on the road to recovery.
There are many ways to reduce stress and achieve total well-being. Building a support system, connecting socially, staying active, getting quality sleep, eating healthily, making time for relaxation and getting regular screenings and check-ups are all important for both physical and emotional well-being.
Mental health is just as important as physical health and fitness, and treatment for depression can help save lives. Reach out to your Employee Assistance Program for professional and personalized support for depression or any emotional health concern.
For professional and personalized support for depression or any emotional health concern, reach out to your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provided by ACI Specialty Benefits at 800.932.0034 or email@example.com.