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DO REAL MEN GET DEPRESSED?

Posted on December 10, 2009
Many people get depressed during the Christmas holidays, including men.  But what about this idea of a man being in a depression?  Does it seem a little unmanly?  I mean, did you ever see Rambo, Dirty Harry, or the Terminator in a funk?
 
Depression seems, to many folks, to be strictly a female domain (you know, as in moody), not really a male thing.  At least, that's the message I've gotten through the years.
 
If I took my cues strictly from the culture, I'd personally be in a little bit of a pickle, because I can get into meltdowns.  And I'm convinced depression strikes many men at some time in their life.
 
I usually get into funks for these reasons:
 
I get down when I violate my conscience in any way (Philippians 4:8).  For me, personally, these can be violations in the areas of pride, lust, jealousy, and/or anger.  (By the way, anger itself is part of depression.  That'll be the subject of a future newsletter.)  However, because of the inner power from Christ - who makes us into a new and different people - I don't hammer my conscience nearly as much as I once did (Philippians 2:13; 1 John 3:19-20).
 
Another reason for my funks can be from unrealistic expectations, if I base my joy on a successful outcome from my work or my hobbies.  As an active layman in my church, ministry also can push me into a funk should I get pre-occupied with my expected outcomes, rather than being obedient and relinquishing my own will to His.
 
I also get depressed when I let myself become controlling or perfection-driven.  This is a part of those unrealistic expectations. 
 
But I've discovered my funks are much less frequent when I intentionally focus on the One who created me by:
       Immersing myself daily in his Word (Isaiah 26:3).
       Praying daily with my wife (Matthew 18:19).
       Keeping active in serving others (Acts 10:36, 38).
       Being authentic and transparent with a few tight buds (Proverbs 27:17).
Aside from trigger points, I'm convinced some of us are just genetically more predisposed toward meltdowns.  i.e. I have a line of depression on both sides of my family tree, from my great grandmother to my father, and now down to me.
 
For those of us with such a genetic background, we have to really pay attention to keep our focus on Christ's power, and not our own.  It is a life-long process, but well worth the result of keeping smiles on our faces.
 
www.MenWhoWin.com - Listen to my eight minute radio shows Men Also Get Depressed and Some Causes of Men's Depression.

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