Beating depression

Beating depression and other mental and physical issues is something that many andropausal males struggle with daily. I will outline a couple of examples which may help you through these challenging times.

I find that by giving real life examples that men of our age group seem to identify with problems much more easily. We were brought up in a very practical hands on society compared with today's younger generation.

My first case relates to a man who for years was not respected by his family and friends because he was considered to be slow of mind. This frustrated him because he knew the subjects that were being talked about, but because of years of ridicule had developed depression and had just stopped communicating. Not only that he had attempted suicide on one occasion.

He was determined to beat his depression and after seeing a television program on adults suffering from ADHD and depression he decided to have himself checked out. He did have ADHD and immediately set about controlling the problem with appropriate treatments.

The results were amazing, not only did he change his lifestyle, but he went to university as a mature age student, gained a double degree in education, married and has a high paid job as a computer analyst.

He knew something was wrong and worked on a solution.

The second example on beating depression can be related to an experience I had in New Zealand. I was a passenger in a Rotary Fly-in and before we took on the challenge of flying over the Haas Pass on the South Island, had to practice tight spiraling climbs.

It was explained that if we flew straight up the pass at a gentle climb we would crash into the ridge at the end as it is higher that you think and coupled with the downdraft wind currents it was downright dangerous to attempt the easier route. I immediately thought of pelicans circling in the air currents and next time I saw some circling noticed that they helped each other to rise to the higher altitudes.

The same can be said with depression, to get to the top of the misty valley, you need help from your mates or in the case of the flying the experience of a trained pilot (Counselor) to save you from crashing.

The third example in beating depression relates to those men that have come back from recent war zones. When our father's came back from World War 2 they suffered in silence even though they were considered war heroes. I can't remember many of my fathers generation talking about the war to anyone other than their war mates.

It's a different story with those who served in Vietnam. This was the first televised war.

Many sent over were poorly trained conscripts, thrown into a conflict where it was difficult to find the enemy, and, on their return were for many years shunned by society. It was little wonder that many soldiers suffered from 'Post Traumatic Stress Disorder' and committed suicide, had regular panic attacks or major depression and anxiety disorders.

It was lucky for some that self help groups were formed as governments would not help. One of these groups in Australia is the 'Vietnam Vets Association' who still does a fantastic job in helping many serviceman and their families. I encourage you to seek out one of these associations instead of suffering in silence.

Finally as I've mentioned above one way of beating depression is to talk to someone and let them know how you feel, you are not going crazy and with a little help from organisations such as Mensline Australia, Beyond Blue, Mens Sheds, your wife, your local doctor or a good mate you can see the mist rise from the valley and lead a normal life.

Another way to help you is to watch the video that was sent to me on Christmas Day called 'The Race' which puts many of our childhood setbacks into perspective.

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