Depression is a serious mental health condition that affects millions of individuals worldwide. People suffering from depression experience feelings of loneliness, pessimism, and worthlessness. Many of those suffering from depression may turn to substance use and addiction as a coping mechanism. The symptoms of these co-occurring disorders can have severe mind-altering effects.
If you or a loved one is interested in male-specific treatment, our mental health and addiction treatment center in California can allow for effective treatment of these co-occurring disorders and provide the support needed for a healthier and happier life.
What is Depression?
Depression, also known as major depressive disorder, is a prevalent and severe medical condition that has adverse effects on one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. The good news is that it is treatable. Depression can lead to feelings of sadness, a lack of interest in once-enjoyed activities, and various emotional and physical complications, impairing one’s ability to function at work and home. An estimated 6.7% of adults (1 in 15) experience depression in any given year, while 16.6% (1 in six) will encounter depression at some point in their lives.
Although depression can occur at any time, it typically first emerges during the late teens to mid-20s. Furthermore, women are more prone to experiencing depression than men, with about one-third of women expected to have a major depressive episode in their lifetime.
When immediate relatives (parents, children, siblings) have depression, there is a high heritability rate of approximately 40%. For a diagnosis of depression, symptoms must persist for at least two weeks and indicate a change in the individual’s previous level of functioning.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Depression in Men?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression affects nearly 20 million Americans a year. For a person to be diagnosed with depression, they must exhibit symptoms daily for a minimum of two weeks.
While many symptoms of depression apply to both men and women, such as persistent sadness, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, fatigue, and changes in sleep and appetite, men may experience additional unique indicators of depression that require careful attention and professional psychiatric care.
Unique Signs of Depression in Men
Some unique signs and symptoms of depression found in men include:
- Anger and Irritability: Men may be more likely to express their depression through irritability, anger, or even aggression. These emotions can mask underlying feelings of sadness and hopelessness.
- Risk-Taking Behaviors: Engaging in risky behaviors, such as excessive drinking, drug abuse, or reckless driving, can be a manifestation of depression in men.
- Physical Symptoms: Men might experience physical symptoms like headaches, digestive problems, or chronic pain alongside emotional distress.
- Isolation: Instead of withdrawing into sadness as some women do, men might isolate themselves socially, avoiding friends and family.
- Escapism: Men may resort to excessive work, gaming, or other distractions as a way to escape their depressive thoughts.
Depression Can Manifest Differently In Men
Men don’t only experience depression differently from a symptoms standpoint, but they also experience depression differently from a societal standpoint. In large part, society has told men that they have to be the stronger sex and, as a result, should not show vulnerability.
Men suffering from depression may feel as though they are expected to suppress their feelings and simply get over it. This can not only lead to a delay in seeking treatment for their depression, but it can cause other significant issues such as the development of additional mental health conditions or even substance abuse and addiction.
What To Expect During Depression and Addiction Recovery
Different types of therapy services, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and psychotherapy, can help individuals understand and manage their depressive thoughts and behaviors.
In addition, therapy can help men get a better understanding of the triggers and underlying factors that may have contributed to their depression so that they can learn and implement healthy coping mechanisms.
In some cases, medication may be prescribed to help regulate brain chemistry and alleviate symptoms associated with depression. Several FDA-approved medications can be used to help treat the symptoms associated with depression, including:
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI)
- Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRI)
- Tricyclic and Tetracyclic Antidepressants
- Atypical Antidepressants
- Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)
- N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) Antagonist
- Neuroactive Steroid Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA)-A Receptor Positive Modulator
Santa Barbara Recovery offers medication-assisted treatment for men who may require medicine to cope with their mental health or addiction.
Many people, especially men, who suffer from depression may feel as though they are alone and that nobody can understand what they are going through. Support groups provide a safe and supportive environment filled with others who are experiencing similar challenges and can provide a sense of community, while also reducing feelings of isolation.
How is Co-Occurring Substance Abuse Treated in Men With Depression?
As we touched on earlier, society as a whole has told men that they can’t be vulnerable and share their feelings. As a result, many men who suffer from depression look for ways to suppress their feelings. One of these ways is through the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol as a form of self-medication.
For men who are seeking depression and addiction recovery, dual diagnosis treatment is crucial. Dual diagnosis treatment allows the person to be treated for depression and substance use disorder simultaneously.
What are the Benefits of Outpatient vs Inpatient Programs at Our Depression Treatment Center for Men?
When deciding between inpatient and outpatient programs at our depression treatment center, it’s important to consider many factors including:
- The severity of the condition
- The existence of any co-occurring disorders
- Presence of a supportive home environment
- Advice from treatment professionals
- Personal choice
Below are some of the benefits of both inpatient and outpatient treatment:
- Intensive Support: Our inpatient depression treatment center provides a higher level of intensive support and supervision, making it an appropriate choice for men with severe depression or those at risk of harm to themselves or others. With 24/7 care, individuals have access to a structured and controlled environment that is focused on their healing and recovery. This constant support can be essential in managing acute symptoms and providing immediate interventions.
- Focused Treatment: In an inpatient setting, men can fully immerse themselves in their recovery journey without the distractions and stressors of daily life. This focused environment allows individuals to dedicate their time and energy solely to their mental health and well-being. It provides an opportunity for introspection, self-discovery, and individual therapy that can lead to profound personal growth and lasting change.
- Immediate Intervention: For men facing a crisis or those in need of urgent intervention, inpatient treatment offers immediate access to medical and psychiatric support. This level of immediate care can be crucial in stabilizing individuals who may be experiencing severe symptoms or contemplating self-harm. Inpatient treatment provides a safe and secure space where individuals can receive the necessary medical attention and supervision during critical moments.
- Flexibility: At our outpatient depression treatment center, we offer a level of flexibility that can be especially beneficial for men with work, family, or educational commitments. It allows individuals to attend therapy sessions and receive treatment while still maintaining their daily responsibilities. This flexibility can make it easier for men to continue their usual routines, reducing disruptions to their lives.
- Community Support: One of the key advantages of outpatient treatment is the opportunity for individuals to receive treatment in their environments. This allows them to practice the skills they learn during individual or group therapy sessions in real-world settings. Men can receive feedback and support from their therapists as they navigate everyday challenges, enabling them to develop effective coping strategies that can be directly applied to their lives.
- Affordability: Outpatient treatment programs often tend to be more cost-effective than inpatient programs. This can be particularly important for men who are concerned about the financial implications of seeking treatment. The reduced costs associated with outpatient care can make it a more accessible option for those who may be worried about the financial impact of taking time away from work or other responsibilities.
How Long Does Depression Treatment Typically Last?
The duration of rehab at our depression treatment center can vary widely depending on individual factors such as the severity of the condition, treatment response, and personal goals. Some individuals may experience significant improvement within a few months, while others may require longer-term support.
Once treatment has been completed, many men benefit from participating in an ongoing maintenance therapy program as a part of a larger long-term aftercare program. This phase is crucial not only in preventing a relapse, but helping the person adjust to their “new” life.
Contact Santa Barbara Recovery for Dual Diagnosis Treatment in California
Santa Barbara Recovery is dedicated to providing comprehensive and specialized mental health treatment programs tailored to men’s unique needs. Our experienced team of mental health professionals understands depression and addiction recovery for men. Whether you’re seeking outpatient or inpatient treatment, we’re committed to guiding you on your journey toward improved mental health and a brighter future.
If you or a loved one is a male looking for depression and addiction recovery, one of our many treatment programs could be the right fit. To get started on the journey to long-term recovery, contact us today.