Out of genuine care and concern, a partner, friends and family start telling you they’re worried — and they’re seeing a different version of you. Medication may be helpful, but usually only serves as a quick fix that really doesn’t address the roots of your depression.
Depression affects men and women differently. Instead of sadness, men will sometimes get irritable, and angry, masking the underlying depression. Depression may also produce shame and self-abuse, working as a vicious cycle that perpetually keeps you down.
With depressive thinking, many men will fall into self-criticizing or feeling ashamed because they’re depressed, which only adds fuel to the fire.
Some men might “self-isolate” from relationships and emotionally withdraw. Loved ones are left feeling confused and hurt, as if they can’t reach you anymore. You paradoxically withdraw from everyone to be alone, yet you’re also feeling lonely at the same time. Worse though is that it’s hard for some depressed guys to even ask for help, or how to explain what they’re feeling. You may fear that you’ll appear weak for asking for help.
If you’ve been struggling with symptoms that may feel like depression and decided that seeing a counselor can help you get back to the man, you used to be — we welcome you to our practice.
It takes courage to admit you might be depressed and it’s normal to feel alone and isolated in your depression. The good thing is that you are not the only; there are lots of guys who are struggling and share your same experience.
Has your life not turned out the way you wanted, professionally, romantically, or financially? Are you depressed, as a result, because you failed to realize your goals and dreams? Maybe you’ve “settled into a rut,” which turned into a funk that might be described as depression? Through denial or resignation, it’s possible you’ve kept yourself stuck on the proverbial hamster wheel for years, on autopilot, and just going the motions. I’ve been there and done that and I promise you my friend, that is no way to live.
Sometimes depression is situational, a byproduct of a troubled marriage, relationship, or an unfulfilling job. Men sometimes get depressed and then feel stuck in that depression after experiencing months of unhappiness in their relationship. Unfortunately, they get labeled as the “problem” in their relationship, causing guys to feel as if they are broken, making them slide deeper into depression.
For guys experiencing depression, the first hurdle is just admitting that you might be feeling depressed. Struggling in silence won’t help, though that’s what we often do. There is no shame or weakness in admitting you’re feeling down or stuck and that you might need a little help to get back on track. It takes courage, strength, and patience to get the right care you need.
Some guys come up with other strategies like listening to podcasts, or going to the gym, yet only see limited results. These ideas are good but are considered more as short-term coping techniques. They never really get to the underlying causes of male depression, like negative core beliefs, self-esteem issues, or relationship-driven issues. Sadly, guys often fall into unhealthy habits like drinking, drugs, porn, cheating, or other self-destructive behaviors meant to alleviate the effects of depression. The truth is these behaviors only mask the underlying issues and just create another layer of problems and issues.
Counseling and coaching can help you see what you can’t see for yourself. It’s like being able to take a 360-degree panoramic snapshot of your life, widening the awesome view of who you are and what you can achieve.
I am a compassionate counselor with years of experience treating depression. I can personally empathize with the dynamics of male depression and would like to help you with depression or if you’re just in a regular, garden variety funk. You deserve to feel like you are getting back to being the real you again.
As a team, you and I will create new goals for how we’ll work on managing and beating your depression. We will make a plan of action to help you know what to expect as you go through this journey called depression counseling.
The first step will be you and I getting down to brass tacks so we can identify the specific factors causing your depression, so we can pinpoint what you’d like to accomplish through counseling and coaching. Together we’ll figure out the reasons that might be keeping you depressed, such as your current mental health, negative core beliefs you have about yourself, your relationships, your upbringing, and any repressed emotions affecting your current lifestyle choices. It seems like a lot, I know, but these factors have a big influence on how your depression comes and goes. By understanding causes, you stop your depression from becoming worse in the future. Knowledge is power!
I will help you not just cope with depression but also isolate the deep-rooted causes. Coping skills are great and effective, however they don’t always get to the root of the issues. Depression in men often comes in the form of agitation, anger, or shame, masking deeper feelings of sadness, fear, and powerlessness. As we work together navigating towards the core of these issues, you’ll be freed from the chains which keep you locked in a world of pain and misery.
Counseling and coaching for depression will help you to interact with others in more meaningful and fulfilling relationships which includes your partner or spouse. We’ll work together developing your self-awareness about your current relationship patterns, while helping you improve your communication skills. You may start hearing comments from family and friends about how you’re more present and available for them, like, you seem to be more “there.” You’ll soon begin breaking down the emotional walls you’ve built which separate you from those who you care most about.
I will use methods in our depression counseling and coaching which can help you reconnect with yourself and be more present. I will use awareness exercises to help you spend less time in your head and more into your body, thereby helping you experience the physical-mental areas where blocks to your happiness are located.
You’ll also achieve a more productive work life. Instead of feeling unmotivated and unproductive, you’ll want to work. Your boss will begin seeing a significant spike in your interest and drive. If you think current your job or career is making you depressed, we’ll work together to help at last create the motivation to look for the job or career you’ve always wanted.
For many years, I’ve had the privilege of working with dozens of men and helping them free themselves from the chains of their depression. Just imagine the feeling you’ll have when you’re no longer weighed down by depression. Work, relationships, and social situations will feel better and more fulfilling. Your life will be more engaging, you’ll be more optimistic about your future, and better prepared to reach your potential.
“Is there a difference between taking medicine for depression and getting counseling?”
While antidepressants can be effective with helping to alleviate symptoms of depression, they sometimes are not enough. Medicine alone will often not get to the root causes issues which may have started early in your life. However, with help from your doctor, combining antidepressants and quality counseling will form a two-pronged strategy to help manage or even conquer your symptoms of depression.
“I’m a little doubtful about counseling for depression. I just don’t know if it will help me”
Evidenced-based counseling methods used by a trained therapist is an effective method to reduce or eliminate your depression. Counseling and coaching can help you manage your symptoms of depression, while simultaneously working on the deeper issues causing it to continue. Working with a professional who is properly trained to treat depression, creating an emotionally safe space can help relieve a significant portion of your depression symptoms.
“I’ve done OK handling things by myself so far. Why would I need to see a counselor now?”
Many guys unfortunately wait to start counseling until things in their lives have gotten too difficult or out of control. You might be saying similar things to yourself like, “I’m the only one in my head so I’ll just figure it out by myself and maybe it will go away”.
It’s okay to admit if you may not know how to deal with this thing called depression. Here’s the thing man, we just can’t continue trying to solve our problems with the same kind of thinking and logic that are created the problems in the first place, right? You need someone to give your issues and challenges a fresh pair of eyes and ears.
For years, I’ve seen tons of guys struggle trying to crawl their way out of the depression pit once and for all, and many have succeeded. Those guys who chose to work towards getting actively and consistently better now report how their lives have changed dramatically and how they’re more hopeful about their future for the first time in years.
Contact us at The Men’s Center for Counseling and Coaching to see how we can team up to help you feel better. Please don’t wait for things to get worse, and please don’t ever resign yourself to an unhappy life. Hope is just around the corner when we start working together to help you stop doing the things that don’t help you live your best life. If you have more questions, call me at 336-423-7697 or contact me here to schedule a free consultation.