Depression From A Guy's Point Of View

Depression From A Guy's Point Of View

The minority when it comes to the illness speaks out.
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The way Webster's Dictionary describes depression is that it is "a serious medical condition in which a person feels very sad, hopeless, and unimportant and often is unable to live in a normal way." So you would probably brush it aside as someone who is just down all the time, right? That's not even half of it, but don't sweat it, you aren't the only one who may look at it like that. Many people may even have the illness and only half of those suffering aren't even aware of it!

Here are a few scary statistics: 18 percent of Americans suffer from depression, 30 percent of college students suffer from depression, and 15 percent of those depressed take their own lives. 90 percent of suicides in high-income countries are caused by depression. Nevertheless, depression is the most common disorder in the world, but what is it actually? Depression has many forms, but generally the same lineup of traits are found. Women tend to be more lethargic, sad, and down, whereas men are more irritable and aggressive, also tending to drown their depression with alcohol. And for every one girl who commits suicide, four men kill themselves. The issue presented is that men refuse to seek treatment, tell themselves that they are fine, and have been raised since around the age of ten to hide their emotions. Speak to some guys you associate with; many, if not all of them will say they have not cried since their youth, since crying is a bad image for their masculinity.

Step into the shoes of a depressed male: On your worst days, it could take you even an hour to get out of bed. You lose all motivation to do anything, even those activities which used to please you dearly during your 'better times.' 'The little things' do in fact get to you now. When depression hits, you often become oblivious to the fact that you know people still care about you, but it seems like not a soul cares at all, like you are developing psychological tunnel vision and viewing life through tinted lenses. You are not necessarily suicidal, but ideas like jaywalking without looking because you don't care if you get hit by a car, being cruel to people around you in hopes that they leave you and you have less reason to live, drinking in hopes that your liver fails, or any similar thoughts come across your mind occasionally. You feel shut out since you cannot express emotions without being judged. Blankets of emptiness, numbness, nothingness, hatred, and worthlessness shroud you and deplete your efforts to socialize. In the words of comedian Kevin Breel, "Depression isn't when you feel down when everything is going wrong, rather depression is when you feel down even when everything is going right."

What to do now? Some traits you can pick off about a depressed individual are loss of appetite, lack of motivation, tendency to prefer long sleeves, concentration issues, and eerie sleep habits among others that are a Google search away. Regardless of your gender and what you may believe, I encourage you to take Goldberg's Test and give honest responses. It may not be a professional, but if your score and responses raise woes, then seeing an actual psychologist or psychiatrist is ideal. Many people are too broken to speak to a professional, so there is indeed a legitimate crisis text line which will hook you up with a professional if you text GO to 742-742. Spread the word, because you may never know who is suffering, let it be a family member, friend, or even a stranger, and how sharing this information could save a life. Every life matters.

Cover Image Credit: Bio Chemistry Research

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble; and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time, until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling; whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die," or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you, you are not alone.

If you're thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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The Keto Diet Gets Rid Of Brain Fog AND Body Fat

Say bye-bye to bread, and hello to salmon and tomatoes!

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Just about everyone in the world dreads this word and participating in one as well-a diet. I cringe at the word because I know that means I have to stop enjoying my Ben & Jerry's ice cream and switch to less fun snacks such as cucumbers and hummus.

What if I told you though that a diet will not only help you physically but overall mentally as well?

The keto diet has been proven to help boost people's energy, and overall mental health as well. The worst part about this diet though is that it is a low-carb and high-fat diet. No more Olive Garden breadsticks or pasta, or a Three Musketeers bar.

Other foods that you have to stay away from are sugary foods such as soda, fruits, (except blueberries and strawberries), smoothies, cake, and ice cream, beans, alcohol, grains or starches, unhealthy fats (such as processed vegetable oils and mayonnaise) and alcohol (the worst part).

Foods that you can eat and are highly recommend with this diet are: meats such as red meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken, turkey, fatty fish, eggs, butter, cream, cheese, nuts, seeds, healthy oils, avocados (my personal favorite) and low-carb veggies such as green veggies, tomatoes, onions and peppers.

Once you drastically reduce your carb intake, your body will go into a metabolic state called ketosis.

When your body is in ketosis, it will become very efficient in burning your fat into energy. This can also turn your fats into ketones inside of your liver which will then deliver more energy to your brain.

Ketosis not only helps you lose weight and boost your energy, but it also helps with a variety of other health related conditions as well such as prediabetes, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, polycystic ovary syndrome, brain injuries and acne.

I know that diets can be difficult to manage especially people with busy lifestyles, and people who try to budget since healthier food tends to be more expensive.

If you are thinking about starting the keto diet, I highly recommend you read Jen Fisch's "The Easy 5-Ingreedient Ketogenic Diet Cookbook: Low-Carb, High-Fat Recipes for Busy People on the Keto Diet."

And then once you start to really get into the swing of things you should break open her other book, "The Big Book of Keto Diet Cooking." This book has over 200 recipes and easy two-week meal plans for you to follow.

Since I started this diet, I have also started following Jen Fisch's Instagram account which is ketointhecity_.

If you are having trouble finding keto meals to make, Pinterest has a bunch of ideas that are helpful. It may seem hard in the beginning, but in the long run, it will be so worth it.

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