The Impact of Depression on Men
- Jennifer Baxt LMHC LMFT
Most people easily recognize the difficulties that young women can suffer during their teen years, especially for those who are concerned about their self image and who have very little confidence in themselves. People tend to forget about the other half of the population, probably because men are brought up to not be as emotional as women. The lack of emotion and the covering up with humour, or other behaviour, can often lead to mistaken assumptions that all young boys are fine during these younger years. Unfortunately, many have difficulties with peer pressure, low self-esteem, lack of confidence and concern about their physical image almost as much as the women.
It is found that many men who have problems with depression and substance abuse later in life, especially alcoholism, have developed the problem from an early age. It is believed that many of these addictions can be developed during later high school years or post-secondary years because of the easy access to the party atmosphere, the peer pressure and the easy access to alcohol and drugs. During this early time in their life, they may not have consciously understood that there were issues that needed to be resolved and/or that they were suffering from a depression that they were trying to hide from. Other young men may have realized that they were not happy and that there were issues that needed resolving, but did not know how to get the help that they needed and when to alcohol and drugs to self-medicate and hide from the troubling issues. Many of these men refused to accept that they had a problem and even more refused therapy because they were more concerned with their image and being caught seeing a therapist could have a detrimental affect on their image, as they see it. This is especially unfortunate because their self-medicating can often turn into an addiction that can be destructive to their life in the future.
Today, there are more options available for young men who are concerned about confidentiality when getting the help they need. Online therapy or online counseling is becoming more popular all the time because of the increased confidentiality it offers as well as the convenience it offers. The therapist communicates with their patient over the internet by messaging their patients. This way, the patient can communicate with their online therapist from their home. Any issues that might be causing the patients discomfort and depression can be explored, discussed and dealt with. The therapist can also help the patient to work away from their addiction, but the patient has to want to be helped. If a patient wants help and wants to improve their life and their view of their selves, an online therapist can help them in much the same way that a therapist can in person. The patient just has to be clear and open about what it is that is bothering them and above all must be honest. This way, the therapist can work with the patient and treat them accordingly so that the patient can hopefully live a happier life. Many people who have been treated through online therapy have been successfully treated.