First Step Men's Therapy helps men across Ontario, Canada develop healthier relationships with themselves and others. We offer individual, couples, and group counselling to men and their families online using our secure telehealth platform.
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Depression impacts men differently than women - often going unnoticed
One of the common symptoms we see within the clinic is depression. If you struggle with depression, you are not alone. Approximately 5% of the world's population suffer from depression at one time in their life. Men struggle with depression in ways that often go unnoticed, undiagnosed and un-treated. Men commonly treat their depression through unhealthy ways, including addiction, substance misuse, and emotional dysregulation. Many men also hurt themselves, either through self-harm, toxic shame, or even worse, suicide. Men account for approximately 80% of all accounted death by suicide, which stresses the depths of despair, sadness, and grief experienced by both men and their families. Men are less likely to seek therapy than women, which may be due to:
stigma associated with seeking "help"
resistance to talking about "problems"
difficulty seeing the link between therapy and feeling better
challenges expressing themselves or describing how they feel
associating asking for help as a sign of weakness or losing control
Three often overlooked symptoms of depression include:
Physical aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
Anger, irritability, or aggressiveness
Engaging in high-risk activities
Often these overlooked symptoms can make it harder to identify and notice depression in men.
Other symptoms men experience different symptoms when they are experiencing depression:
Feeling anxious, restless, or “on the edge”
Loss of interest in work, family, or once-pleasurable activities
Inability to meet the responsibilities of work, caring for family, or other important activities
A need for alcohol or drugs or other "escapes"
Withdrawing from family and friends or becoming isolated
Problems with sexual desire and sexual performance
Feeling sad, "empty," flat, or hopeless
Not being able to concentrate or remember details
Feeling very tired, not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much
Binge-eating or not wanting to eat at all
Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
Depression might also be indicative of a depressive disorder or biological factors that might require further medical assessment or treatment. If the depressive symptoms persists or your risk for self-harm or impaired functioning increases.
Therapy can be helpful to those experiencing depressive symptoms.
Common techniques or approaches include cognitive-behavioural therapy, narrative therapy, internal family systems, interpersonal therapy, and dialectical behavioural therapy. Therapists may sometimes recommend trying short, simple goals or exercises to increase one's level of activity and connection. Therapists often work to treat both the symptoms of depression and the root causes of the depression, which may be deeper or involve trauma, childhood wounds, emotional regulation, grief and self-esteem. It is also recommended that one seek medical assessment to determine any underlying biological factors or hereditary factors that may impact one's susceptibility for depression.
Want to learn more?
Depression Therapy: Click here
Self-Esteem Therapy: Click here
Resources on Depression (Ontario Shores Link): Click here