The Silent Danger of Andropausal Depression2016.10.19 2305
The Inseparable Connection between Andropause and Depression
Men also experience climacteric, called andropause, though the symptoms are less severe because the hormone decrease is less steep compared to the sharp drop of female hormones in women’s menopause. They show various symptoms similar to depression. In addition to the responsibility they bear as a head of their family and financial stress, men in their forties or older undergo a decrease in serotonin due to the reduced amount of male hormones; that decrease is believed to trigger depression.
In a research by University of Washington involving about 200 men with an average age of 48, it was shown that 56 percent of subjects with male hormone deficiency suffered severe depression or symptoms of depression. Another research on 521 Swiss men aged 40 to 65 also found the more severe andropausal symptoms they had, the more depressed they were.
Causes and Symptoms of Andropause
The physiological factor in andropause is the degeneration of testicles reducing male hormones, which in turn decreases serotonin, while environmental triggers include divorce, retirement, financial difficulties and children leaving home. Obsessive personality traits such as perfectionism, smoking, drinking, and chronic disorders such as diabetes or hyperlipidemia can increase the incidence. The condition can result in both physical symptoms including fatigue, reduced stamina, arthralgia and impotence and mental ones such as depression, nervousness, lethargy, decreased sexual drive and sleep disorder.
Negligence Makes Andropausal Depression Even More Dangerous
In many cases, men suffering andropause just ignore their condition and don’t get proper treatment because of our social norms that do not allow men to reveal their own weakness at any time and men’s tendency not to express their feelings. Climacteric can be more dangerous in men since they are more likely to display extreme, impulsive behaviors or even commit suicide. Also, since these men usually do not take much care about their health, the effect of andropause can be more detrimental for them.
Prof. Jeon Hong Jin at Department of Psychiatry, Samsung Medical Center, says “It is recommended to enjoy a hobby that would help relieve depression and reduce stress, because when you engage in an activity you love doing, your brain decreases the secretion of epinephrine and other hormones associated with stress and produces more serotonin that alleviates depression caused by andropause.” If someone feel depressed all day and don’t get better over two weeks or more, he can be suspected as having actual clinical depression. Depression is difficult to cure once developed and its symptoms, including lack of motivation and sleep disorder, can be very painful. Therefore, it’s an imperative to learn how to prevent depression and deal with the disorder properly.
Seven Tips on Preventing Andropausal Depression
1Catch the early signs of andropausal depression and act on them.
It’s critical to understand andropausal depression is a serious disorder and take active measures in the early stages.
2Show your inner feelings, or sorrow, to families and friends frequently.
Expressing yourself loosens psychological tension and allows people around you to help you out or give psychological support.
3Find a way to manage stress, such as an enjoyable hobby
The brain increases serotonin when you’re engaged in pleasant activity, relieving depressed feelings.
4Keep regular hours and have enough sleep and rest
An irregular life/sleep pattern and overwork should be avoided since they can worsen depression.
5Exercise regularly for 30 minutes or more, five times a week
Exercise is reported to reduce the likelihood of depression by 10 to 30 percent, through promoting the secretion of serotonin and male hormones.
6Avoid heavy drinking or taking too much caffeine
Excessive alcohol or caffeine intake hinders the secretion of testesterone, affects sleep cycle and triggers or worsens depression.
7Get sunlight every day for 30 minutes or more
Sunlight exposure produces vitamin D, which promotes the secretion of serotonin, the happiness hormone, and the male hormone testesterone.
When symptoms such as anxiety, nervousness, lack of motivation, sleep disorder, suicidal thoughts and depression persists for two weeks or more despite prevention efforts as described above, you must consult a medical specialist.
Depression is not something shameful that you should hide. You should not shy away from telling others about difficulties and hardships you’re struggling to cope with. It is also crucial to acknowledge your situation and ask for appropriate help, as well as warm support from family and people around you.