Depression is one of the most common mental health issues found in gay men. Among the many causes of depression are disappointment, frustration and loss. These feelings can result if there is an imbalance at personal, social or professional level.
At a personal level there may be lack of acceptance by the family. Society at large is homophobic and this could result in depression, as a gay man cannot express his personality. If he has to remain in the closet at his workplace, it could result in depression as well. There can be many other reasons too.
Signs and symptoms of Depression
- Lack of enjoyment of activities that are usually fun or enjoyable
- Poor concentration
- Inability to sleep properly, lying awake or waking up in the early hour
- Frequent feelings of gloom and a sense of despair
- Emotional outbursts and crying for no apparent reasons
- Extreme apathy
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Increase or decrease in appetite
- Reduced sex drive
- Loss of self confidence or self esteem
- Heavy drinking or drug abuse
When to seek Help
Depending on the level of your depression, you can seek professional help, or go for self help. If you have a mild level of depression, you can cure it yourself by what is known as mood therapy. If you have moderate or severe depression, you need psychiatric help.
Steps to treat Depression
If you have a mild depression, here are some of the steps you can take:
- Talk about your problems with a trusted friend.
- Don`t bottle up your feelings. If you need to cry, cry.
- Do some yoga.
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Avoid alcohol, it will only worsen your depression
If your depression is moderate or severe, visit a psychiatrist without wasting any time. He will put you on anti-depressants and will probably tell you to see him in three months again. It is better to ask your psychiatrist to offer you some psychotherapy in addition to the medication. Medications will boost levels of neurotransmitters, but psychotherapy will reach the root of your problem and try to root it out. Please do not hesitate to tell the psychiatrist about your sexual orientation. It will help you get better treatment. If you have the feeling that the psychiatrist is not gay friendly, seek another psychiatrist.