Although women tend to get more attention when it comes to mood disorders, male depression is quite common and must be dealt with in a similar fashion. Studies show that men are more likely to develop suicidal thoughts, and as such it is important that they learn how to best treat their depression.
Treating male depression is a bit different than treating women, although many of the same drugs or supplements can be used. Since the root issue is usually one of feeling inadequate for men, therapy alternatives will be different, as will the resolution of the problem.
In order to treat male depression, we need to first identify the symptoms. These differ from female symptoms in many cases. Men are more likely to act out by having casual sex, over-indulging in alcohol and drugs or taking part in other reckless behaviors. They will also tend to hide their depression more because they feel it is a sign of weakness that will mark them.
It is vital that the symptoms of male depression are recognized as men tend to plan and commit suicide with far more frequency than women. Also, men tend not to advertise their intentions of suicide until they are in the act, so recognizing depression before it reaches this point is extremely important.
Once the symptoms of male depression have been identified, the man should be treated immediately. Going to a doctor or therapist is often low on the man's list of priorities. He might prefer to go online and talk with others struggling with depression in anonymous chat rooms and forums.
There are a variety of antidepressants such as Prozac, Zoloft, and Norpramin on the market, but due to the stigma and weakness attached to the disease, men may prefer natural methods of treating depression, including herbal supplements. No one questions the use of ginkgo biloba, it is a well-known memory and clarity enhancer. Chamomile relieves stress and also soothes and men may feel more comfortable taking it than a prescription drug which could raise questions.
Men may also be worried that if they take a prescription antidepressant, or seek therapy for their problem that they may suffer repercussions at work and in the community. This is another reason many decide to go with supplements, especially folic acid and other B vitamins which have a proven track record for reducing depression symptoms.
Other alternative methods of treating male depression include changing the diet to include a balance of vitamins and minerals, getting enough sleep and taking steps to reduce the stress at work and at home. Daily exercise may also help.
Depression in men is still not fully understood. It is suspected that many men successfully hide their depression, so the estimates of 6 million affected in the U.S. may be grossly under the true number of men affected by this disease.