Dealing with depression can be quite challenging. Whether you’ve been diagnosed with the disorder or are living with a loved one who suffers with depression, it can take quite a toll on you and your family. That is especially true for African American men, many of whom do not seek the help they need.
The symptoms of depression range from feelings of persistent sadness, difficulty concentrating, anxiousness, feelings of guilt, loss of interest in hobbies or sex, and thoughts of suicide to trouble with anger management, extreme irritability over minor things, and insomnia.
According to the National Network of Depression Centers, depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States among people ages 15-44, and it ranks among the top three workplace issues in the U.S., along with family crisis and stress. It can affect anyone regardless of socioeconomic condition, race, relationship status, age, or gender. It can even affect children.
The organization Anxiety and Depression in America sites that depression in men often manifests as irritability, tiredness and anger, and men are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol and exhibit reckless behavior. For most people, issues like experiencing the loss of a loved one, losing a job or divorce, can cause feelings of depression which may last for a short period of time. For those who struggle with major depressive disorders or clinical depression, however, the feelings do not go away as easily. Their ability to participate in normal daily activities, such as getting dressed, social engagements, or going to work may become overwhelming and can seem like huge obstacles, so they simply withdraw. Often, people with depression are told to “shake it off, and “snap out of it.” Sometimes it is implied that their feelings are simply in their imagination, or that they are lazy when in fact they are unable to function.
Treatment is often needed to address depression, and it may include therapy or in some cases medication in order to help control and manage the disorder. If you or someone you know exhibit symptoms of depression, get help. Make an appointment to see a doctor who can test for depression and prescribe medications, if needed. Also, check for other resources like support groups in your area. Remember, depression is nothing of which you should be ashamed. It can be treated and help is available to those who need it.