The Modern Indian Man is falling into "Depression": Meeting Endless Goals and Balancing Endless Roles!
16 Dec 2015
Depression emerged as the most prevalent disorder among 1250 private sector employees spanning 150 companies in a research by the associated chamber of commerce and industry of India (ASSOCHAM, 2015).
42.5 percent of the employees were found to suffer from this lifestyle disease. Last eight years have seen a rise of 45-50% in emotional problems like anxiety and depression. Delhi sees the highest number of depressed employees followed by Bangalore, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Pune.
Research indicates that one in 10 men suffer from depression at some point in their lifetime. Depression manifests itself in different ways. Notice the colleague who always walks in late to work or the boss who always seems to be angry about something or the other or even your driver who needs to be sometimes told to drive carefully? They may all be suffering from depression. Depression doesn’t always present itself in the way we all are familiar with: a frowning face, low energy and isolating oneself. Yes, they are symptoms of depression but so are anger outbursts, difficulty waking up in the morning, and inability to concentrate.
The prevalence of depression in men has seen a steady rise in the past few decades. There are numerous physical and psychological factors behind this transition. With the constant increase in day-to-day stress that one undergoes, the likelihood of being depressed reaches the top step in the ladder. These stressors may range from interpersonal and occupational to financial. With the price hike, despite a regular job with insane work hours, one tends to struggle to make ends meet. In such a scenario, not only does one constantly feel under pressure but also falls prey to depression.
The consistent push and pull of interrelationships has the man at the precipice of a breakdown. The responsibility of maintaining peace between one’s immediate and extended family has proven to be a hard task. The time-demands of spouse, children and parents has the man at the center of tug of war. He finds it difficult to manage time between work and family. Family discord also catches his attention and he is unable to find a moment of peace even when at home.
Further, the tough competition at work adds to his woes. The need to constantly prove himself or face the danger of being evicted looms over his head. He strives to upgrade his skills and abilities in order to save his job which further takes away time from his schedule leaving him little, if any, for his personal life. Excessive work load and job demands add to his already pile-high responsibilities. Meeting day-to-day deadlines and reaching the finish line within due time is yet another stressor he faces. Frequent job transfers add on to his troubles with the task of adjusting in a new city, being away from friends and family, and facing language barriers. Performance linked prerequisites and increasingly demanding schedules lead to daytime fatigue, less sleep hours, lack of exercise, frequent headaches and lack of self confidence.
Several lifestyle factors like poor sleep habits, excessive caffeine and alcohol use act as risk factors for depression. Circadian rhythm disruptions in the form of frequent change in work shifts, traveling often to different time zones is another risk factor. Further, environmental conditions like staying in or working at a place where there is a lot of noise or extreme temperatures also make one prone to depression. Chronic medical disorders like diabetes, hypertension or severe medical disorders like cancer or HIV also lend itself to a high probability of depression.
In view of the above stressors and consequent depression, it’s time men take steps to protect themselves from this disabling disorder. The first step would involve changing lifestyle habits that act as risk factors. These include maintaining sleep hygiene, regulating the use of caffeine and alcohol, and minimizing noise exposure as and when possible. A proper diet and avoiding junk food would also help prevent several physical disorders which subsequently act as triggers of depression. Engaging in healthy behaviors like exercise, yoga, meditation and relaxation techniques add another layer of protection from depression.
Apart from lifestyle changes, one needs to strengthen the social support in order to alleviate distress from other sources like work. This would consist of spending quality time with family, going out with friends, socializing and going on trips as a means of relaxing. To have someone to talk to and ventilate acts as a safety measure.
Contrary to popular belief, depression is not merely the presence of sadness. It cannot be treated by layman ‘counseling’ or tips to get out of it by oneself. Depression is not a sign of weakness, it is a disorder that requires both pharmacological and psychological treatment. In addition to the above mentioned tips, one needs to consult the professional to aid recovery. The qualified professional would assess the stressors and cognitive distortions that a depressed man is prone to and work on them catering to each individual. Interpersonal stressors would require training in communication and assertiveness skills. While an inability to strike a balance between personal and professional life requires skills in the areas of time management and activity scheduling. A professional would work through the areas of major stress in the individual’s life aiming at early recovery and relapse prevention.
Here are 5 tips for a man battling depression-
Go out. Depression renders a man without interest. He feels like lying in a dark corner of the house and avoiding people. However, what is needed is the opposite. Push yourself to go outside in the day. Natural light is said to aid recovery from depression. Also, getting out and going for a walk would release the requisite neurotransmitters that would help you feel better.
Talk it out. Depression makes you keep things to yourself as you keep mulling over those negative thoughts. Talking about it with a family member or friend or even writing it down in a diary would get it out of your system. It does more good when it’s out rather than within you.
Stating it positively. Using positive self-statements like ‘I can do this’, ‘I will be better in no time’ etc would help you increase your self-confidence which suffers a hard blow during depression.
Where’s the evidence? Whenever negative thoughts cloud your mind, go seek evidence of the thought that’s plaguing you. Is it really true? What evidence do you have for it? Also seek evidence contrary to your belief and weight them together.
Keep yourself busy. Depression is a slave of negative thoughts. When you sit idle, you become more of a prey to it. Engage yourself in activities that will take your mind off those negative thoughts. Read a book, listen to music, solve a puzzle or watch a movie. Do something that you used to enjoy earlier even though you may not like it anymore. You will soon renew your interest in it if you keep doing it nevertheless.
With the steady rise in depression in Indian men, it’s imperative to go beyond stigma and consult qualified professionals in the nick of time. The sooner the consultation, the sooner is the recovery. Depression is treatable and requires efforts on the part of both the afflicted and the family members to seek immediate treatment. And the time is NOW.
If as a man you are struggling, you can get complete help Online from ePsyClinic’s Depression & wellness Psychologists and Experts.
Just Click the Pink Button on the left and “Type Hi” to get started and know more
Take a free depression assessment here
To know more about ePsyClinic's e-Mental wellness specialty clinic. Click here
bout ePsyClinic: We are an Indian health company that is now Asia's largest Online Clinic for Mental, emotional, professional and pregnancy wellness. We have India's top psychiatrists, gynecologists on our panel along with most professionally trained psychologists. Our experts’ receive special training for an effective online management and treatment of various mental health, emotional health, pregnancy health and addiction issues.
Tags: #depression #men