One of the reasons depression can put a strain on relationships is because often the caregiver is left without the proper resources. According to the 2016 study, a full quarter of the 8 million mental health caregivers claimed that they have trouble finding a mental health professional for their loved one. Even once a professional is identified, additional services are harder to find; a majority of caregivers report experiencing trouble finding day programs or treatment (64%) or peer support (58%). About half have difficulty arranging a case manager (49%), in-patient treatment (48%), or treatment for substance abuse (45%). Once those resources are found, many caretakers report difficulty navigating the insurance system to get adequate coverage. There simply are not as many resources or services available for mental health caregivers as there are for people caring for those with physical disabilities.
“Men are more likely to externalize their symptoms, so depression can come out as anger rather than sadness, making it less likely to be diagnosed as such,” says Michaelis. In fact, depressed men are more likely to feel angry and aggressive, exhibit more risky behavior, and more likely to turn to substance abuse than women, according to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry. Alcohol isn’t the only mechanism, either. Men more often use tools like drugs, abuse, inappropriate sex, or gambling to attempt to control their feelings or quell their anxiety, Michaelis adds.
Mental health is a serious issue. The more we read and discuss about it the more it helps. In today’s needull, Bryony Gordon recommends 5 books that are related to depression and reading these books helped her.
People do feel the same way as you. And what I learned when I started to write about my own mental illness was that it is through all the people who then started to write to me—hundreds of people saying: ‘me too’, if not with OCD, then other forms of mental illness—I realised that it was actually very normal to feel weird. To me, that is why it is so important to talk about your experience in mental illness no matter how shameful it may feel at the time because not only do you then show people what mental illness is, you also give it less power over yourself.