How Does Depression Affect Old Men?
It is a known fact that men are reluctant to seek professional help more than women. That is also the reason why there are many health conditions that affect men than their female counterparts.
One of the silent killers in our lives is depression. This psychological condition can attack anyone regardless of ethnicity, age, gender, and socioeconomic status and this has been proven so many times in countless studies.
In focus groups that were conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health to help assess awareness of depressive symptoms, men were asked to describe their own feelings and symptoms. It turns out that a lot of men in the study were actually depressed since they’ve reported about physical symptoms most associated with the condition such as chronic pain, headaches, digestive disorders, and so much more.
The men in the study have also added that they are reluctant to seek professional help, mainly because they think that when they do so, they will lose their company benefits and their friends and family might not look at them in the same way.
As men age, they have to cope up with so many different stresses in life. For example, if the company that they work in will have to downsize and the person is the one who gets sacked, that would lead them to depression, most especially if they are the main breadwinner of the family.
However, an interesting finding is that, for the most part, older men are actually quite content with their lives. As the researchers would put it- it seems that being content with their lives seems to be the norm in older men.
There is a limitation in the study, however, in that old people rarely disclose their feelings, especially their possible depressive symptoms. They are often reluctant to talk about feelings of sadness, hopelessness, a sudden loss of interest in the things that they used to enjoy, or if they hold on to grief after a loss longer than those that are considered ‘normal’.
Depression can lead to a lot of health complications. It increases your risk of cancer, stroke, heart disease, and it can most certainly impair your ability to last longer in bed.
Even though the older people that were included in the study rarely report any symptoms of depression, it is important to note that it doesn’t correlate with recent data on suicides based on depression.
According to the surveys, older people are more keen on killing themselves than younger men. This has prompted psychologists and people with similar professions to look into this matter in more detail since this has become quite alarming.
The good news is that of all the old men who have suffered from depression, about 80% of them are successfully treated given the right treatment plan. In such cases, they undergo psychotherapy and take antidepressant medications.
In conclusion, depression is a silent killer. If you experience any depressive symptoms like the ones I’ve mentioned above, please do take care of your health and seek a medical professional as soon as possible.