Q&A with Dr. Carletta N. Perry: Depressed men?

Published 11:32 am Saturday, June 13, 2015

Q: I think I might be depressed, but do men get depressed?

A: Absolutely! Depression is a common illness worldwide, with an estimated 350 million people affected.

Depression is different from usual mood fluctuations and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life. Especially when long-lasting and with moderate or severe intensity, depression may become a serious health condition. It can cause you to suffer greatly and function poorly at work and in your family as a husband or father.

At its worst, depression can lead to suicide, so let’s talk about what you might be feeling and then I will make some recommendations so you can feel better.

If you are experiencing depression, you may experience a variety of symptoms, such as increased sadness, which can manifest itself as the blues (you just feel down), crying (often seen more in females), anger or irritability (often seen more in men), acting out (often seen more in children); increased appetite or decreased appetite; insomnia, sleeping for long periods or sometimes wanting to go to sleep but you can’t seem to turn your thoughts off; loss of interest in things you used to do, which can make you isolate yourself from others and feel alone; and these symptoms have lingered for more than two weeks.

Talking to a professional to help you sort through your thoughts and feelings can be a great help, and this is not a sign of weakness. Rather, it can be the beginning of feeling better and having the energy to be your best at home and at work.

The first step to pull you out of your depression is to talk to a professional regarding your symptoms and treatment options. Do not underestimate your need to communicate your goals, dreams, and concerns. Men can benefit from speaking to an unbiased professional about their true feelings about life and work. This can increase self-esteem, boost confidence, provide them with new ways to cope with problems and people, and help them turn their goals and dreams into reality.

You can do it, but you don’t have to do it alone.

Dr. Carletta N. Perry holds a doctorate in clinical psychology, with specialties in marriage and family. She is a professor of psychology, a therapeutic life coach and relationship expert, as well as author, radio and television host and entrepreneur. Catch her new television show, “It’s Life Changing with Dr. Carletta Perry,” Sundays at 7 p.m. on Charter Channel 191. Email your own questions for this feature to contact@drcarlettaperry.com.