Did you know that 48.1% of Australian men have experienced a mental health problem at some point in their life?
In fact, 1 in 8 men will experience depression and sadly suicide is now the leading cause of death amongst men aged 15-44. Men are also much less likely to talk about their problems and seek help from mental health services.
Depression affects how you think and feel about yourself, as well as how you view the world. Sometimes without even realising we slip into a pattern of behaviours that help us get and stay stuck. Often when you experience depression you can view EVERYTHING from a depressed point of view. So… let’s try to change that up now and start looking at depression from a slightly different point of view……..
How to do a good depression
So… if you were going to set out to get good and depressed, here’s how I would recommend you do it.
1. Stay still, don’t do anything that makes you breathe fast or hard
2. Stay in bed if you can; if not, sit in the same chair or lay on the couch
3. Isolate; avoid other people
4. If you can’t avoid other people, try to talk to the same person or few people
5. Talk to them about the same topic, usually how depressed/unhappy you/they are
6. Sleep during the day and have insomnia at night
7. Brood on the past, fears, faults and resentments
8. Imagine the future will be the same or worse than the past or present
9. Eat terribly; overeat or under eat (whichever one you specialise in), eat junk foods, sugar, fat
10. Don’t pursue hobbies, passions or spiritual interests
11. Drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, and/or use other drugs
12. Don’t ask for help
Okay, now that we know what NOT to do, what are some of the things we CAN do that might help us feel better.
Exercise and Depression
Depressed people who exercised [supervised group exercise or at-home exercise] were just as likely to recover from major depression as people on Zoloft, but the exercisers were more likely to not be depressed 2 years later than people on Zoloft or who took Zoloft in addition to exercising.
How much exercise matters in Depression
Every 50 minutes of exercise per week correlated to a 50% drop in depression levels (Exercise and Pharmacotherapy in the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder, James A. Blumenthal, PhD et. al, Psychosomatic Medicine 69:587-596 (2007)
Social Connection for Depression
Social connections are at risk in modern societies
• Make time for shared family dinners and family holiday (down by 33% over the last 25 years)
• Invite friends over to your house (down by 45% over the last 25 years).
• Participate in a club (down by 50% over the last 25 years)
• Connect through nature
• Connection to another: Intimate one-to-one relationships. This pathway does not always need to refer to a relationship with another person; it could be with an animal
Consider things from another point of view
• Consider that you might be seeing things from a depressed view point
• Getting out and having fun can help shift your mind set
• Treat yourself with kindness and compassion: YOU DESERVE IT
• View your depression with compassion. Depression can be a wakeup call to remind you that you need to take better care of yourself
• Talk to someone today – call our friendly staff to organise an appointment with one of our highly qualified clinicians who specialise in depression counselling.
Additional depression support and information is available through:
- Beyondblue Support Line co-funded by Movember, provides the opportunity to have a one-on-one call or chat with a trained mental health professional, and is completely confidential.
- Beyondblue aims to build awareness of depression and anxiety, remove the associated stigma and improve the quality of life for those affected.
- Headspace offers information, support and services for young people aged 12 to 25.
- Kids Helpline is a 24-hour nationwide service that provides access to crisis support, suicide prevention and counselling services for Australians aged 5-25.
- Lifeline provides access to crisis support, suicide prevention and mental health support services.
- Mensline Australia is a dedicated service for men with relationship and family concerns. They provide support to men who are dealing with relationship difficulties, particularly surrounding family breakdown or separation.
- Mindhealthconnect provides mental health and wellbeing information, online programs, helplines and news.
- Suicide Call Back Service provides free nationwide professional telephone and online counselling for anyone affected by suicide.
- Information adapted from two websites focussing on helping male depression.