The Silent Danger of Andropausal Depression

2016.10.19  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

  • 1
    Catch 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.

  • 2
    Show 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.

  • 3
    Find a way to manage stress, such as an enjoyable hobby

    The brain increases serotonin when you’re engaged in pleasant activity, relieving depressed feelings.

  • 4
    Keep regular hours and have enough sleep and rest

    An irregular life/sleep pattern and overwork should be avoided since they can worsen depression.

  • 5
    Exercise 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.

  • 6
    Avoid 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.

  • 7
    Get 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.

 

 

List
CLOSE

Patients' Rights and Responsibilities

Patients' Rights

1. Right to receive medical care

Patients have the right to receive proper medical and nursing services for their Health Protection and Promotion and they will not be discriminated for gender, age, religion, status, nationality, language, race, or physical/mental/financial circumstances nor be violated of their health. Medical team may not deny medical care without justifiable reason.

2. Right to be informed & autonomous decision

Patients have the right to receive be well-informed and to inquire in detail about the treating physician’s specialty, status of their disease, purpose of the treatment, treatment plan, method, expected results and side effects of the treatment, discharge plan, medical cost, whether or not they are a subject to medical research, organ transplant/donation and etc, and to decide whether to give consent. Patients may stop or deny specific treatment or planned medical care within the ethical guideline and may decide on an alternative treatment.

3. Right to have confidentiality

Patients will not be violated of their rights to confidentiality regarding their physical/health status and privacy. Medical team and facility may not reveal or announce patient’s confidential information, including personal information, unless patient has gives consent or specified in the law, such as criminal investigation.

4. Right to request for consultation and mediation

Patients may request for consultation and mediation from an internal or external agency (Korea Consumer Agency, Korea Medical Dispute Mediation and Arbitration Agency) in the event of any medical dispute.

5. Right to be respected of values or beliefs

Patients will not be discriminated for their culture, religious values or beliefs, and their rights will not be violated.

6. Right to be physically protected and to have stability of mind and bod

Patients have the right to be protected from possible danger in the hospital and to have the stability of mind and body.

Patients’Responsibilities

1. Responsible to trust and respect the medical team

Patients must accurately inform the medical team of their health condition, trust and respect the medical team’s treatment plan. Patients may be responsible for consequences which results from not following the instruction.

2. Responsible to not use dishonest method for medical treatment

Patients must reveal their identity before receiving any medical care and must not use false or dishonest method, such as receiving medical case under disguised ownership.

3. Responsible to abide by all hospital regulations

Patients must abide by all hospital regulations, respect hospital staff and other patients, and earnestly fulfill the financial obligation to the hospital.