Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Depression and mens health

In some men, depression can accompany the condition of erectile dysfunction (ED). It is common for men with ED to feel angry, frustrated, sad, or unsure of themselves. Men may feel less “manly” because of ED. Such feelings may lead to a lack of self-esteem and eventually to depression.
What is depression?
Depression is an illness marked by persistent sadness, feelings of hopelessness, and a pessimistic outlook.
The most common symptoms of depression include:
  • low self-esteem
  • loss of interest in formerly pleasurable activities
  • fatigue
  • changes in appetite
  • sleep disturbances
  • apathy
Depression affects the way one feels about oneself and the way one thinks about things. People who are depressed cannot simply “pull themselves together” and get better. Depression is not a sign of personal weakness.
Without treatment, symptoms of depression can last indefinitely. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people who suffer from depression.
Depression is not a “woman’s disease”
Depression is found in men and women, even though men account for only one in 10 diagnosed cases of depression. Depression once was considered a “woman’s disease” that was linked to hormones and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). This lingering stereotype of the disease may prevent some men from recognizing its symptoms and seeking appropriate treatment.
Depression in men may not be recognized
In American culture, expressing emotion is largely considered a feminine trait. Depression in males may go unrecognized because:
  • Men tend to deny having problems because they are supposed to “be strong.”
  • Men who are depressed are more likely to talk about the physical symptoms of depression, such as feeling tired, rather than about actual emotions.
  • Outward symptoms of male depression are not always understood. Men are less likely than women to show “typical” signs of depression, such as crying, sadness, or loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy.
  • Men are more likely than women to keep their feelings hidden, but they may become more irritable and aggressive.
For these reasons, many men—as well their health care professionals—fail to recognize depression.
Diagnosing depression in men with ED
The diagnosis of depression begins with a physical exam and interview by a health care professional, who likely will ask about issues including family history and chemical dependency. There is no single test that can diagnose depression; however, there are certain patterns that health care professionals look for in order to make a proper diagnosis. These patterns may include overall sadness, irritability, and withdrawal from everyday activities.
Treating depression in men with ED
Treatment for depression may include antidepressant medications, psychotherapy (talk therapy), or a combination of both.
  • Antidepressants: Many different drugs, including Prozac, Zoloft, Ellaville, and Wellbutrin, are used to treat depression. Note that some antidepressants can worsen ED. Health care providers can recommend antidepressants that are appropriate for men with ED.
  • Talk therapy: During therapy, a person with depression talks to a licensed and trained mental health care professional who helps the person identify and work through issues related to depression. Types of talk therapy include couples therapy, individual therapy, and group therapy.
  • For the treatment of such diseases using different healthy drugs that help reduce the occurrence of disease in the future.

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