Men have been taught and conditioned from an early age that “big boys do not cry”. Exhibiting traits of some emotions has been attributed to signs of weakness in men overtime.
The subject of depression is hardly ever discussed and when men experience loss, they often get overlooked, leaving them isolated and misunderstood.
Men have been trained not to cry. We have different social expectations of men and women. When confronted with a loss of job, livelihood, or a wife’s pregnancy, men are conditioned to repress their emotions.
Loss, grief, depression and suicide are closely linked. Unresolved grief is often a major reason people experience depression, chronic illness, and mid-life crisis. The most common causes of depression in women has been attributed to low self-esteem and lack of confidence, with more women struggling with feelings of inadequacy.
Depression occurs in both sexes but is less frequent in men. Men get depressed over specific problems, such as a business setback or an illness” says Dr. James Dobson, a psychologist and marriage, family and child counselor.
Unresolved grief can also lead to complications such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and health problems. Trying to avoid feelings of sadness and loss only prolongs the grieving process.
Signs of depression in both men and women include, having an intense sense of guilt, blaming yourself over a loss, inability to perform your normal duties, feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, prolonged feelings of sadness and emptiness and thoughts of suicide or preoccupation with dying.
The sad story of Olisa Nwokoby an employee of a new generation bank who allegedly shot himself dead over some personal challenges is a pointer to the dangers of depression and the need for intentional parenting.
Also by re-programming your thoughts and emotions, you can overcome depression. “How we think, feel and behave forms a feedback loop which can maintain chronic symptoms such as depression and anxiety”.
Behind every behavior is a positive intention for that individual. By separating out the positive intention from the behavior itself we can find more acceptable ways to fulfil the same outcome. Through programmed internal representations you can give an empowering meaning to whatever circumstance you are facing.
Men need to find other men to talk with when they feel low and depressed. Seek the support of friends and family members and people who care about you when you find yourself in this situation.
Get involved in a cause. Look after your physical health and draw comfort from the word of God. Counseling can be helpful for those who feel stuck.
Plan ahead for grief triggers like anniversaries, holidays and celebrations that can reawaken memories and feelings. Seeking professional help is a sign of strength, courage and willingness to heal. Talk to a therapist or a mental health professional to help you work through your obstacles today.
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