468x60 Graphics


Depression In Unemployed Men

Male depression disorder is set to grow in the near future, according to psychiatrists, who say that lifestyle changes in the Western world could lead to a rise in the number of men suffering with depression. The suggestion is that the traditional roles of males and females are changing and because the source of men’s self esteem stems from their role in employment, they’ll find this difficult to cope with.

This is understandable. Look around and you can see what were once thought of as “men’s jobs” and “women’s jobs” being done by both sexes. Once upon a time, you’d always be served at a checkout by a female. Now it’s as likely to be a man as it is a woman. Except that you’re not supposed to notice this. So, you can pretend not to notice, but when the issue of jobs comes up, this is bound to come into the conversation at some point; and why shouldn’t it? “They’re taking our jobs” is a cry heard all too often in times of hardship. No matter who “They” are, they’re taking a position that could, or should be yours.

Now whether you’re a man or a woman, that’s going to rattle you. If you’re a man, it’s going to affect you even more because, without knowing it, you depend upon your job for your self esteem. If your self esteem takes a hit, so does your confidence and then you’ll find yourself on the road to full-blown depression disorder. Up to now, women have been nearly twice as likely as men to develop depression over the course of their lives. That’s all about to change, though, as the role of breadwinner shifts from males to females. Traditional men’s jobs such as trench digger or welder are being replaced by machinery, and similar work is moving to other countries, like India, China and the Philippines. There’s also been a steady rise in the ratio of women to men going through university, so the woman is gradually becoming the main income earner.

Men with lower education levels are finding it harder than ever to get a job if they’re suddenly thrown out of work, so the woman becomes the breadwinner. The man feels he’s become a parasite, with all the feelings of guilt that go with it. He has traditionally been the provider, his social networking being done in the workplace and if that’s taken away he feels isolated and useless.

If he’s heading for depression disorder, what’s to be done about it? In a lot of cases, nothing, at least for a while. The man will stay at home, perhaps stuck on a computer or a games console all day, perhaps minding the kids and preparing meals. The woman will go to work, leading a normal, happy lifestyle, meeting friends during the daytime and coming home in the evening, worn out and wanting to rest. There’ll come a breaking point somewhere along the line. The man starts to wonder if this is all there is to life. Is there any point to it all? She’s happy, but she just doesn’t understand what it’s like for him. When she does notice, probably when there’s a bust-up, she can’t understand what’s wrong with him. Doesn’t she work hard all day to keep a roof over their heads? And so it blows over until the next time. Now he’s really suffering from depression disorder.

One of the problems of depression is that it’s often not acknowledged until it’s taken over the sufferer’s life. You read about cures for depression but rarely about depression prevention or avoidance. How much notice would anyone take of such remedies, anyway. “Prevent depression? Me? I don’t think so, that’s for people with mental problems, not for me.” So the onset of depression takes its course and the search for a cure begins.

In this case, you can use anti-depressant medication and that will help in some ways. Not least, it helps by reassuring the sufferer that his problem has been acknowledged and that people care enough to do something about it. However, noticing depression and giving medication, and perhaps psychiatric help, can only work up to a point. Beyond that, the person with depression disorder will have to take the situation into his own hands and try to tackle the cause, rather than the effects of his depression.

How can you get back self esteem when it’s gone? Because that’s at the heart of the problem and nothing’s going to improve until it’s restored. This is not going to happen overnight, it’s a slow process and will happen in small steps rather than giant leaps. While you’re in the midst of depression disorder, you won’t be in a position to make reasoned, coherent, long term plans for your life. What you must do is work on a single, small goal that may seem quite unrelated to your climb back to full self-respect. This goal must allow you to achieve something that you can build on. You need to produce something, whether it’s a physical object or a painting or something you write, you need an end product that you can sit back and ponder, taking satisfaction in the sense of achievement it’s given you.

Whatever you decide to do, you need the support and encouragement of loved ones, so make them aware of what you’re doing. Remember, they love you and they want to see you get over this problem. They want the real you back.

What do you like doing? What was your best subject at school? Think in terms of arts and crafts. If you like the idea of writing, then go ahead and start writing, but try to stick at it until you’ve crafted something that you’re proud of. Something you’ll be happy to show the world and say, “I did that.” Aim to write a piece of about five hundred words in length and format it so that it looks professional, then keep it in a binder. Don’t even think about submitting it to anyone for publication at this stage. This is your first product and it stands proud. You don’t want it to get knocked down for any reason.

Take this advice about writing and apply it to your particular choice of activity for overcoming your depression disorder. If you choose painting, then produce just a single painting of, say, a tree or a cow, and stop at that. Likewise, if you’ve chosen to carve something in wood. This is your first artifact and tomorrow you build on what you’ve learned and achieved today. You’re on the way to winning back your self esteem, so take heart. It’s a long journey but you’ll get there once you’ve taken this first step. Think of this as the turning point in your depression. You may not finish up being the breadwinner but you’ll see that self esteem depends upon more than a meaningless title.