Symptoms of Depression in Men
by Mary Calvagna. From Beliefnet.com.
Depression—once thought of as a woman's disease—is appearing
more frequently in men. Nearly 20 million Americans suffer from
depression each year; over six million of these sufferers are men.
Male depression may include symptoms not normally thought of as
the classic symptoms associated with depression. As a result,
depression can be difficult to recognize in men, and doctors may be
less likely to suspect depression as the cause of a man's
complaints. In addition, men may not be willing to admit that they are
Symptoms Associated With Male Depression:
- Using alcohol or drugs to self medicate
- Working excessively long hours
- Watching excessive amounts of television
- Becoming irritable or angry
- Becoming violent to himself or others
- Creating conflict
- Acting overtly or covertly hostile
Classic Symptoms of Depression:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood
- Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that
were once enjoyed, including sex
- Decreased energy, fatigue, being "slowed down"
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
- Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Appetite and/or weight loss, or overeating and weight gain
- Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
- Restlessness, irritability
- Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to
treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and
Two-thirds of people who suffer from depression do not seek help. It
is crucial, however, that depression be diagnosed and treated—
untreated depression has been linked to suicide. Of those who seek
treatment, 80% experience significant improvement and lead
Retrieved January 16, 2006 from http://www.beliefnet.
Stress Management: Coping with Duality and Dichotomy in Law
By Dr. Frank Kardasz, April 8, 2007
Reflecting sadly upon the 1968 murder of Martin Luther King Jr.,
Robert F. Kennedy said, "Let us dedicate ourselves to what the
Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man
and make gentle the life of this world." The savageness to which the
Greeks referred is part of the duality and dichotomy of the human
condition. Duality is defined as the quality or character of being
Dichotomy is simply the division into two contradictory parts.
Humans sometimes experience opposing and conflicting character
aspects, resulting in dichotomous displays of emotion. Personality
and behavioral characteristics, tempered by self-control
mechanisms, determine whether behavior will be ethical or
unethical. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are fictitious but extreme examples
of behavioral duality and dichotomy.
Regarding the dual instincts of man, Harold S. Kushner, author of
"Living a Life that Matters" (p. 49) said:
So what kind of people are we? Are we naturally good and
pure until external circumstances compromise our
goodness? Or are we naturally weak and deceitful, needing
conscience or outside authority to keep us in line? My answer
is that we are both. I see every human being as having good
and bad tendencies, impulses to charity and impulses to
selfishness, the desire to be truthful and the desire to lie.
Internal psychological struggles occur between human basic
instincts. Behavioral pathways towards aggression, greed, sexuality,
substance abuse, depression and anti-social behavior can be
impacted by personal and situational factors, challenging our ability
to maintain ethical conduct. Failure to restrain actions can lead to
dysfunctions in social, family and professional life.
Duality and dichotomy of conflicting emotions are often apparent in
law enforcement situations. Consider for example, a fatal drunk-
driving accident, where a first responder may experience intense
sorrow for the mangled innocent victim, and alternating rage towards
the uninjured impaired driver who caused the accident.
Challenging situational and social conditions also influence
behavior. Proper and ethical behavior is controlled by the ability to
make logical decisions. Logic-based decision-making tools aid in
selecting the proper course of conduct.
Psychologists often describe an emotional "bucket" into which one
deposits and accumulates stressful personal incidents. Unless
effective stress management is practiced, the bucket fills and
overflows. When the bucket overflows, the individual may react
negatively. For example, the emotional bucket may fill when an
accumulating series of traumatic events occur. Individuals who
experience events such as bankruptcy, divorce, death of a loved one,
and job-related traumatic incidents may reach an emotional overload
The emotional "bucket" can fill quickly and unexpectedly. An officer
on a busy shift may witness trauma, suffering and injustice several
times each day: frustrated by an inability to stop the continuing
unfairness, the emotional bucket overflows. The accumulated
emotional strain may cause the officer to react. Post traumatic stress
is a condition that can result from emotional overload.
Law enforcement personnel are expected to adhere to high
standards of conduct in accordance with their sworn code of ethics.
Officers are particularly susceptible to emotional overload.
Cumulative and unmanaged stress can contribute to law
enforcement misconduct when the individual's internal self-control
Stress management is important in maintaining balanced and
healthy behavior. Without effective stress management for the
release of emotional conflict, some form of misconduct may result.
Ideally, an individual self-evaluates, monitors one's own emotions
and participates in activities to release and reduce stress. Stress
reduction activities may include exercise, proper nutrition, hobbies,
family outings, fraternal or civic organizations, religion, meditation,
and other appropriate techniques. Therapeutic stress-reduction
activities are preferable to dysfunctional activities such as substance
abuse, aggression, depression and anti-social acts that tend to
result in added stress.
Evidence of the untamed savageness of man is experienced daily by
those who choose law enforcement as a career. Field officers
witness firsthand the worst that mankind offers. The duality and
dichotomy of the frail human condition persists, causing stress and
psychological impact upon law enforcement employees.
Understanding and coping with accumulating emotions and
managing stress effectively helps towards maintaining ethical
Kennedy. Robert. F. (1968, April 4). Statement on the assassination of
Martin Luther King. Indianapolis, Indiana. Retrieved October 20, 2007,
Kushner, H. S. (2002). Living a Life that Matters. South Burlington,