men get depressed too

Men Get Depressed Too!

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So, you will notice from my previous posts that I love talking about depression. Yes! I’m a fighter and I live every single day of my life battling my mind to stay sane. I live everyday hoping and praying to God to not let me get to that point of feeling so low enough to say I am depressed. I hate that feeling; God! It is something I won’t wish on anyone, not even my worst enemy, because it cripples you and gives you no motivation to do anything.

Enough of that! I have already said a lot about depression, so I expect you to have a fair idea how serious a situation it is by now. Usually, girls or women are the ones known to constantly get depressed or deal with mental health disorders. This has made people assume it has to do with our menstrual cycle and it is so believable because women are supposed to be the weaker gender. Fine, we get it! We know how the menstrual cycle comes with mood swings but aren’t so heightened unless the individual already is prone to depression and with that, we can say she needs help.

Don’t we all get sad at a point in life? Don’t we all feel hopeless at a point? Don’t we all get disappointed ever? Haven’t you ever woken up with little or no motivation to do anything? Those are all black holes of depression and do they make you women? NO!

I’m not saying that when you are sad, automatically you are depressed. Depression makes you either sad, numb or confused so, if you are able to accept that everyone gets sad at a point in life without knowing the exact cause of the sadness, you should believe that everyone is capable of getting depressed. It has nothing to do with gender. The only time gender comes into play is when you want to touch on how open individuals are about talking about their issues. Women are able to talk about their problems and share their worries with others, making it seem like they are the only ones with issues.

I will accept that, we are so good at exaggerating our feelings sometimes so it makes men assume sometimes that, depression is just an exaggerated feeling of normal sadness, until it hits them and knocks them to the ground, leaving them with little or no energy to get up. That is when they start adopting certain ugly lifestyles instead of reaching out to someone. They start drinking excessively because alcohol succeeds in making them forget their worries temporarily. They’d rather front and act all tough, and wash their headaches away with the alcohol. Some get so bad that, they would drink every single day and refuse to accept that they need help. You will find them always smelling of alcohol and feeling all proud, when on the inside, they are drowning.

Some resort to drugs while others become so bitter. They become ‘beasts’ and they vent their anger and frustration on their wives and children. Most women can relate to this happening in their homes because it is so serious that you cannot go without noticing. Men at this point, complain about every little thing; they get angry very quickly and they get violent also. Though this is the time that women are supposed to reach out and get help for their husbands, some of them just keep it to themselves and let their husbands’ actions push them further away from them and others take it to the Lord in prayer and pray constantly for God to bring their husbands back home.

Others also cheat in the end, because, they really cannot help it. They are usually in search of something to numb the pain and when they come across a woman who seems enchanting enough, who doesn’t form a part of their ‘problems,’ they lose guard and have an affair with them. If caution isn’t taken, they go on with the affair because of how well it helps to relieve them of the pain of depression and in the end, they push their partners, families, loved ones and the actual problem further away, instead of coming face to face with them.

They let the masculinity stereotype get into their heads to the point of them keeping all their problems to themselves and doing the wrong things that they wouldn’t do in their right senses just because they want to be sane.

It is so sad and it happens everywhere just because men cannot let their guards down and accept that they need a listening ear sometimes. They’ll rather keep it to themselves and let it eat them up inside and when men die before their wives, people do not get it.

It’s because of this ugly behavior of theirs. Men need to understand that, life is about highs and lows and though it isn’t advisable to share your low moments with anyone, at least getting one trustworthy person who can provide that listening ear will do. Sadly, psychologists are not widespread in Ghana like in the Western world, so getting access to one isn’t so easy but then having friends you can reach to in low times helps.

Also, men need to come to terms with the fact that, being depressed does nothing to their masculinity; it makes them human. They should accept that, so that when they get to that point they can reach out to someone for the help they need. We are tired of women losing their husbands almost all the time because of some bad habits they cultivated as coping mechanisms to depression.

A problem shared is a problem half-solved, so men, please let it out when you have something eating you up. Reach out to someone and let them know what is bugging your mind and causing you to have sleepless nights. Do not fall for that urge to do drugs or drink just for the sake of forgetting it because it will never go away. Forgetting it temporarily, worsens it because it will always come back and when it does, it makes you feel worse than you felt earlier. The best thing to do is to talk about it with someone, even if it is a stranger (could be me, or anyone who lends a listening ear) and trust me, you will feel better.

Every man has and is dealing with something; what matters is how you deal with it. So, choose the right way for the sake of your sanity, your life and your loved ones.

I will repeat it one more time: MEN GET DEPRESSED TOO!

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MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATE, WRITER, SEX AND RELATIONSHIP EXPERT

Ami Shikah is a sex educator and mental health advocate. She is passionate about sex education and is working towards making her website/blog a place where people come to for knowledge and information that will help them make healthy decisions about sex and sexuality. Mental health isn't treated with much importance in her part of the world (Ghana, Africa) and as someone who has had to deal with depression and suicidal thoughts, she hopes to share her experiences with the world and help other people like her. She has in-depth knowledge about sex, sexual health, sexuality, vaginal health, pregnancy and abortion and is working to share it all with the world. She has also made it possible for people to ask questions and get answers to them anytime.

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