Depression is one of the most widely studied and understood psychiatric disorders. As a result, you have probably heard about depression and about how debilitating it can be. However, there are probably some symptoms that you were not fully aware of.
Hopeless and sadness are not the only two emotions you might feel.
People who have clinical depression often have a poor mood, but that does not mean the only emotion you experience as a symptom of depression is despondency. Increased anger is also a common symptom of depression and it is especially common in men who see some of the other symptoms as a sign of weakness. Many men do not like to admit that they are sad, tired, and unmotivated.
Weight changes associated with depression can cause additional shame. As a result, your depression has a good chance of manifesting itself in the form of angry and inexplicable outbursts. Sometimes, this anger can come out of nowhere and it can result in physically or emotionally hurting other people. There is nothing wrong with getting angry, but if extreme anger seems to be an emotion response to situations that do not seem to warrant such a serious response, then you might want to consider the fact that your anger is a symptom of your depression.
You might become very reckless.
Many men can get reckless because bad judgment calls are common among young men who feel invincible and who want to prove their strength or bravery. However, recklessness is also pretty common in depressed men, especially when they feel that they would sacrifice their masculinity if they expressed their emotions in a healthy manner. Mental health disorders make negatively affect your judgment and it can make you feel the need to prove your worth in ways that can be somewhat dangerous. You also may have been more likely to disregard taking care of your body, which means that injuries are not something that you worry too much about.
However, recklessness and self-destructive behavior does not only lead to personal injury. You can also end up injuring other people, which is why it is extremely important to learn to cope with your emotions using methods that do not involve picking fights or driving too fast down the road. Recklessness can also be a sign of similar psychiatric disorders including bipolar disorder, which includes many depressive episodes.
You have an increased chance of becoming an alcoholic.
Alcohol can make anyone feel good because it raises dopamine levels in your body. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for controlling your brain’s reward and pleasure centers. By igniting the pathways for the release of these neurotransmitters, alcohol can make you feel extremely rewarded. Unfortunately, the dopamine pathways tend to stop working all that well when you are depressed, which means that alcohol can feel even more rewarding than usual if you are suffering from depression.
Some studies show that over 20% of men with depression also have some sort of drinking problem. Eventually, too much alcohol can lead to a dependency and you might get addicted. Alcohol addiction is not always easy to recover fun and it most of the aftereffects of drinking can actually work to make your depression worse. Even small amounts of alcohol can cause you to have a depressed mood once you start to sober up. Additionally, alcoholism can exacerbate other symptoms of depression, including sleep problems, weight problems, and anger.
Depression can hurt your social life.
Depression can cause you to start pushing people away because you might have difficulty with remembering or with focusing on the positive aspects of their life. Depression also makes it difficult to care about maintaining relationship because your future starts to feel irrelevant and even nonexistent. You may not care so much about making healthy decisions, which means you might end up making poor relationship decisions. Additionally, the process of ensuring that you surround yourself with people you love and care about might seem like more and more of a waste of time.
Since depression can cause you to feel tired and unmotivated, spending any energy on your social life might not feel as though it is worth it. Therefore, it is common for people who are depressed to isolate themselves. This withdrawal from many aspects of your social life may negatively impact your relationship with friends and family. Furthermore, your relationship with an intimate partner may be especially impacted because your sex drive goes down along with your drive to be social. Your sex drive is often further impacted by the fact that depression can harm your limbic nervous system, which is normally responsible for regulating sex drive.
Weight changes are common.
A common symptom of depression is gaining weight. Another common symptom is losing weight. These weight changes are often results of how your appetite can change when you are depressed. Oftentimes, depression comes with decreased appetite, which means you might lose weight without making any real diet or exercise changes. However, some people do not lose their appetite and it is actually possible to eat more if you are the type of person who likes to snack when you are feeling down or a little bit stressed. As a result, you can start to gain a few pounds.
Furthermore, depression can make you too tired to be disciplined about maintaining and healthy weight. Staying on top of your weight takes motivation, but motivation is something that is difficult to come by when you are depressed. Therefore, you may stop caring about your diet and you may stop paying visits to the gym.
If you or someone you know has depression, then these are all symptoms that you might want to know about. Many of the less typical symptoms are more common in men because depression manifests itself differently in men as a result of how certain unfortunate societal standards for masculinity can turn depression into something that is to effeminate and even shameful. However, anyone can get depression and it is important to reach out if you are concerned about your mental health. With the right type of treatment, depression can become much easier for you to manage.