Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Male depression

Men in our country have the cultural expectation of being in control or the "tough guy" when facing a crisis. They believe that expressing their emotions or feelings is considered more of a feminine trait. Therefore men can be reluctant to express their concerns when experiencing symptoms of depression.

Symptoms of male depression The National Institute of Mental Health reports that 6 million men and 12 million women are affected by depression each year. While it may seem that males are less affected by depression they may be just undiagnosed due to repressing their symptoms. Symptoms of male depression can include violent or abusive behavior, over involvement in work or sports, inappropriate rage and risky behaviors. Men also have a tendency to mask their symptoms with alcohol or substance abuse. Depression has been known to affect the male sexual desire and performance. They also report physical symptoms of headaches, digestive problems and chronic pain.

Ask for help Untreated depression can lead to personal, family and financial difficulties. Men will resist mental health treatment due to concerns with the stigma that it could damage their career or lose the respect of their family and friends. If you know a male that is struggling with depression, encourage him to seek treatment with a physician or mental health professional. He may need support from medication management or to learn healthy coping skills in counseling to elevate his mood. There are many effective treatments for depression today so don't think that you have to "tough" it out on your own. Choose today to get help and have a better quality of life.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Understanding mental fatigue

The faced paced lifestyle of adults today is leaving many individuals feeling mentally exhausted. Mental fatigue is predominately found in careers that require a lot of cognitive stamina. It can be a result of working excessive hours, being constantly worried and under extreme duress. You may begin to notice that you have no motivation to complete daily tasks, have difficulty concentrating for any length of time or become concerned with your short-term memory. There could be an increase in making simple mistakes or an inability to finish tasks. Learning to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental fatigue can help you determine what steps you should take to repair your body.

Preventive self-care

Every individual should take a close look at their daily lifestyle to determine what areas need improvement. Make an appointment with your physician for a physical to assess for possible iron deficiency, anemia, thyroid function or an infection that could be causing fatigue symptoms. Then decide if you are consuming the servings suggested from each food group for appropriate nutrition. Caffeine and sugar should be avoided while increasing the intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Medical experts suggest taking a multivitamin supplement and drinking at least 64 ounces of water to replenish your brain and body.


Adults require seven to eight hours of sleep every night. If you are experiencing insomnia it can escalate the symptoms of mental fatigue. Create a routine each night that prepares you for bed. Turn off the lights and any media that will keep your brain stimulated. Your brain will then release the melatonin that regulates the sleep and wake cycles.


A study published in the March 2009 Journal of Applied Physiology reports, "Mental fatigue impairs physical performance in humans." Physicians recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise three times a week. Exercise will increase your stamina and the oxygen level in your bloodstream. The brain utilizes 30% if the oxygen in your body, so increasing oxygen in the body will improve cognition.

Taking the steps to maintain a healthy mind, body and spirit should be a part of your daily lifestyle. If you believe that you do not have the time to take care of yourself now, then you will need to make the time later if you become ill. Your best option is to start today and make the right choices for you.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The recession and marriage

Current statistics are reporting that there are more women employed in our country than men. This has been caused by the layoffs and cutbacks in male dominated fields such as banking, manufacturing and construction. Females have traditionally chosen recession proof professions in health care and education. Unfortunately women have continued to earn less and receive fewer benefits. With a reversal of roles in the family a large number of couples are reporting marital stress as they become anxious about their income and retirement benefits. There has also been a 37% decrease in the number of divorces filed due to the financial strain that occurs when a family is divided into two different households.

When you are going through the tough times in life it is important to remember that it's better to have a partner that emotionally supports you. Dr. Noelle Nelson author of Your Man is Wonderful (January 2008) gives helpful suggestions on keeping a positive attitude and avoiding the 'Blame Game'. She states that it is important to face the issue as a team and not adversaries. Couples should focus on the strengths of their partner to explore other possibilities of income. Then set goals to resolve the problems and celebrate your victories together.

As we wait for the economy to stabilize this can be an important time to retrain or return to school. You can contact your social network and let them know you are currently looking for employment to see if they have any leads for you. Use your time well and check on-line employment resources daily while you are job hunting. You can keep your stress under control by exercising daily, eating healthy and sleeping a minimum of seven hours. Discuss with your partner how to equalize household responsibilities and help with the children. If you have a difficult situation that you have not been able to discuss with your partner it might be helpful to seek counseling to relieve those tensions. The loss of employment has created experiences for you that were never planned but realize that the recession will not last forever. Time has a tendency to resolve all concerns.