According to a health report by Jim Thornton, twenty percent of men over fifty are estimated to have depression or chronic low mood.
Just think—that’s one in every five men over the age of fifty! Only thirty percent of men with depression seek treatment, while ninety percent of men who are treated for depression experience significant relief.
Thornton states that while women attempt suicide three times more often than men do, men are four times more likely to finish the job. And these next statistics may shock you: “The single highest suicide completion rate for any demographic group in the United States is older white males. By age 85 men are more than ten times as likely as women to kill themselves.”
Terrence Real, best-selling author of I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression, “suspects that many afflicted men try to numb their pain with drinking, compulsive gambling, uncontrolled sexuality, or temper tantrums.” He states that instead of feeling bad, the experience of depression for such men may involve losing the capacity to feel at all.
If you suspect your husband may be suffering from depression, encourage him to consult with his physician or a psychologist. Suffering alone in silence is unnecessary and pointless when effective treatments are available.
And how heart-wrenching for a husband to endure pain and suffering when ninety percent of men who receive help get significantly better.
Reflection: One of the kindest things you can do to get your husband back is to gently let him know that many men suffer from depression, some of whom he may admire, including sports figures, celebrities and successful men.
–By Nancy Wasson, Ph.D.