Depression in Men
How can I prevent depression?
There is no known medicine, supplement, or herb that prevents a first episode of depression.
After one episode of depression, most people will experience recurrences. But you can prevent or reduce these relapses by:
- Taking antidepressant medicines consistently as prescribed. Taking medicine for six months to a year after an initial bout of depression prevents depression from coming back.
- Learning and practicing cognitive therapy techniques. Done properly, these techniques may work as well as antidepressant medicines in preventing recurrences.
- Getting regular exercise and sleep.
- Avoiding alcohol and drug use.
What are the treatments for depression?
There are effective treatments for depression. In fact, more than 80% of men respond to treatment for depression. Your primary care doctor or a psychiatrist can create a treatment plan for you. That plan for treating depression may include:
. The medicines most often used for depression treatment today are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). These antidepressants increase the levels of specific chemicals in the brain.
Talk therapy. Many kinds of psychotherapy or talk therapy are effective in treating depression. Cognitive therapy, also called cognitive-behavioral therapy, and "insight-oriented psychotherapy" are frequently used.
What else do I need to know about depression in men?
It's hard for us to shake the old ideas about depression in men: Real men don't cry, and we're sure as hell always in control of our feelings. But it's time to put this new idea into the list: A lot of real men do get depressed.
If you think you're one of them, be a real man and take care of yourself. Ask for help, and get treated for depression. You deserve to feel better ― and with treatment, there is every reason to believe you soon will.