Depression has been talked about more in recent years than ever before, but many people knowledgeable on the subject aren’t aware that it can present differently in men than in women. Because the symptoms are so different, depression in men often goes undiagnosed longer than depression in women. To stand a better chance of recognizing depression in yourself or a loved one, take a look at the symptoms in men vs. women, and learn how nutrition plays a role.
Symptoms of Depression in Women
Some of the most well-known symptoms of depression are sadness, fear, anxiety and a feeling of worthlessness. Women tend to display these traits when they are depressed. They also frequently blame themselves for their feelings, which leads them to assume their problems would be solved if they were better at being a parent, friend, wife or employee. Many women who are depressed also try very hard to be nice and nonconfrontational, and they generally blend in with everyone else.
Other symptoms of depression in women may affect how they act at work and at home. They might procrastinate, sleep too much and fear reaching success. They may seem uncomfortable accepting compliments but will quickly tell you about their faults. In general, when women are suffering from depression, they often wonder if they’re lovable, so they try to use friends, food and the idea of love to feel better.
Symptoms of Depression in Men
Contrary to women, men are more likely to lash out at others when they’re experiencing depression, which makes some people assume they’re rude rather than in need of help. For example, they may feel angry, easily irritated, restless and guarded. While depressed women shy away from conflict, depressed men may create it, which tends to be easy due to their hostile attitude.
While women may sleep too much when they’re depressed, men are more likely to not get enough sleep. They’re also more likely than women to fear failure, want to be in control all the time, and be afraid of talking about their weaknesses. They may rely on sports, alcohol and sexual activity to soothe their depression, and they often have an underlying belief that their problems would be solved if people would treat them a little better. In fact, while depressed women might wonder if they’re lovable, men may wonder if they’re being loved enough. With these symptoms, it’s no wonder men are much less likely than women to recognize their depression and get it diagnosed.
How Nutrition Affects Depression
Evidence continues accumulating that nutrition plays a central role in our brain chemistry, and hence our ability to be chemically balanced. The severity of brain chemistry imbalance often brought on by the horrors of our modern American diet lead to physiological and psychological disruption. Many of us have heard of the “high” we get from junk food, but most of us are wallowing in unnatural chemicals triggering imbalances all day long, affecting our very ability to be happy from meal to meal! The good news is that improved nutrition can literally nourish your depression, and make a huge difference with how we feel. This is true in both men and women.
The difference in how our diets affect each gender differently are well-documented. But even here, it’s becoming clearer to researchers that brain and blood chemistry between men and women are altered in distinctly different ways with similar foods consumed. Because of this, nourishing a female back to good psychological health is a different process than nourishing a male back to good psychological health.
You can start by increasing your intake of omega-3 fats, which are found in oily fish such as salmon, sardines, trout and herring. Particularly in men, omega-3 is crucial, but both genders benefit chemically from this nourishment. Having a low level of B vitamins in your diet can also lead to depression, so try to eat more baked potatoes, legumes, sunflower seeds, avocados, pork and even seafood. All of us can do with more seafood, but the trick here is to consume copious amounts if you are reversing a nutrient deficiency.
And while fish is terrific, it won’t suffice if you are trying to reverse years of damage; particular with women. In fact our brains need the micro-nutrients of organ meats, which are rarely available in the average diet. Humans used to consume every part of every animal we’d raise to eat, but these days we focus on muscle tissue. Tasty, yes; but the least nutritious part of most animals. Spleen and glandular tissues, on a daily basis, provide a foundation upon which your brain can stabilize and heal. For women, thyroid tissue seems to have a more immediate impact to wellness, though again, both genders benefit here. You can get these organ tissues from most butchers, but you don’t want to over-prepare the tissue. You want to consume it as close to raw as you can manage, to ensure the mineral and phyto-chemical structures remain intact until consumed.
Now before you start worrying too much about how long you will have to chew on bovine spleen to balance your brain chemistry, take heart! There are whole food supplements that actually improve upon mother nature’s nutrition by concentrating them meticulously and safely in pill form. Everything we’ve just mentioned, ideally, can be consumed as raw, whole food, but realistically, we aren’t going to eat cow spleen or thyroid gland. And certainly not every day. That’s where whole food concentrates come in.
There are different protocols for nourishing your body to combat depression. The protocol for women’s depression and the protocol for men’s depression can help you nourish your body, and heal your mind in the process. The subtle differences are deliberate between these protocols and we’ve gotten marvelous success reports back from patients. Getting the right nutrients and micro-nutrients is the foundational step in combating any depression, and just may be the key to preventing unwanted mental states in the first place.