Q: My husband was always calm and loving. Now he is always angry. He denies any problem saying that his anger is my fault because I don’t do anything right. Is this a mid-life crisis?
A: Sounds like you are describing depression. Although we recognize depression symptoms in women, they frequently go unnoticed or misdiagnosed in men. Women react to depression with crying, withdrawing and change in sleeping patterns, but society has taught men to react differently. Men often become angry, frustrated and uncaring.
Job stress is a common trigger of male depression. Feelings of disappointment, inadequacy or betrayal occur at work when promotions or praise go to others. This is a trigger for depression. Men often feel that they should be able to cope with work stressors and blame their personality change on familial issues. Some symptoms of depression in men include:
Whether in men or in women, depression and other associated issues are both common and treatable. Because society has done a better job of teaching women help-seeking behaviours, men’s depression is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Men are taught that they are supposed to be strong fear that depression and accompanying anxiety is weakness. Because they avoid addressing it, men do not know how to manage depression so when they do learn, men often benefit quickly from simple techniques. CBT and other therapeutic techniques have come a long way. There is no longer a need to suffer with depression. Encourage your husband to see someone who understands so he can experience relief.