Sinclair Cares: Men and the struggle with depression

Sinclair Cares file photo

(SBGTV) -- More than 6 million men a year struggle with depression, and that may be only the tip of the iceberg.

Laura Hussey, with Sinclair Cares, explains the warning signs too many men are missing.

"Society expects men to be strong, they expect men to have it altogether, so it's a sign of weakness if we have to go seek out help," said Johnny C.

Many men don't even know they have depression, because the symptoms aren't what they thought.

"Everybody thinks of depression, they think of the connotative definition of depression...oh, you're just sad," he said. "This isn't sadness. This is a fog inside your head. It's a fog where you get to the point where you're trapped in the fog of your own mind. And you just get so angry at yourself and the world and the situation that you're in and it is soul-sucking."

They can include fatigue, lack of motivation, aloofness, anxiety, anger, even abusiveness.

Depression can be masked by substance abuse or other risky behaviors.

Psychiatrist Dr. Venkata Sompalli says that, because depression is a disease of the brain, it touches every aspect of life.

"That means your feelings are affected, your thinking is affected, your judgement is affected, your intellect is also affected," said Sompalli.

"I would get mad over the dumbest stuff. It would just be scary kind of anger towards people. It would scare my family, scare my friends," said Johnny C.

Sometimes, though not always, there are suicidal thoughts.

Dr. Sompalli says only a third of men who have depression get treatment.

"The main issue is the men that need most of the help are the least interested in it because of the cultural barriers," he said.

But eight out of 10 cases can be successfully treated.

"I've fought my own demons, I've been through my own, I've fought my own brain, maybe I can help somebody," Johny C said.

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