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Do Real Men Get Depressed?

Posted on November 1, 2007
A man in 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 as if to be strictly a female domain (you know, as in moody), not really a male thing. At least that's the message I've heard through the years from our culture.

If I took my cues from Hollywood's action figures, I'd personally be in a little bit of a pickle myself because I sometimes get into meltdowns. And I'm convinced depression at times hits almost all men at some time in their life. I'm just more open about it.

I usually get into funks for two reasons. I get down when I violate my conscience in any way (Philippians 4:8). Violations for me in the areas of pride, lust, jealousy, anger - to mention some of my battles. However, strictly because of the power of Christ now enabling me, I don't hammer my conscience nearly as much as I did (Philippians 2:13).

Another reason for my funks is having unrealist expectations. Any of us can get in a funk if we base our inner joy strictly on successful outcomes from various work and personal projects. And I can get depressed on the days when I'm controlling or perfection-driven. (By the way, anger itself can be a side effect of depression, but that'll be subject for a future newsletter)

I've discovered my funks are much less frequent when I intentionally focus on the One who created me.
  1. Immersing myself daily in his Word (Isaiah 26:3).
  2. Praying daily with my wife (Matthew 18:19).
  3. Keeping active in serving others (Acts 10:36, 38).
  4. Being transparent with a few tight buds (Proverbs 27:17).
However, aside from these triggers, I must say I'm convinced some of us are genetically more predisposed toward meltdowns. In my blog this week, I talk about the line of depression on both sides of my family tree, from my great grandmother to my father, and now down to me. I have to really pay attention in order to keep reminding myself to rely on Christ's power, not mine.

He's been faithful to do just that. It is God who gives me the wisdom to overcome depression when I violate my conscience or have unrealistic expectations.

In fact, men who win allow God to help them win over depression; and the men who win depend on him for wisdom (James 1:5-7).

Download the mp3 of my 8 minute radio shows:
Men Also Get Depressed
Some Causes of Men's Depression.

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