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:
- Antidepressants. 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.