Many of us find physical ailments relatively easy to address. Take a pain reliever for a headache, or see the doctor about a suspicious lump. It’s our emotional health that seems to take a back seat. Maybe it’s time to get an emotional check-up using Butler Hospital’s free confidential online mental health screening.

Why take the screening?
The numbers are significant:

  • One out of four people will suffer a mental illness in their lifetime, such as anxiety, depression and/or a drug or alcohol addiction
  • Women are twice as likely to have depression as men
  • Men, because of differences in body chemistry, are four times as likely to commit suicide than women

Why the gender difference? Men, in general, are less likely to have their depression diagnosed so they never receive the help they need to get better.

“Depression is a serious condition—a brain disease—that can strike anyone, including men. No one is immune to it. Certain circumstances, however, such as a family history of depression, witnessing a traumatic event, undue stress, loss of a loved one, or a serious illnesses can make men more vulnerable to an episode of depression,” says James Sullivan, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Butler Hospital.

The related results

Left untreated, Dr. Sullivan says depression can lead to personal, family, and financial difficulties. In addition, it has been associated with increased risks of:

Recognize the signs

Symptoms of depression may include:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood.
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex.
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, being “slowed down”.
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions.
  • Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping.
  • Appetite and/or weight loss as well as overeating and/or weight gain.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts.
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain.

Men may express depression in other ways. Instead of saying he feels sad, he may:

  • Say he is tired a lot.
  • Become easily angered, irritable, or frustrated.
  • Lose interest in hobbies, sex, or work, although some men cope with depression by working too much.

First Steps to Wellness

Start by taking the free confidential online mental health screening or by talking to your primary care physician.

“With appropriate diagnosis and treatment,” says Dr. Sullivan, “most people, men included, recover, and the darkness disappears, while energy, interest and a joy in living return.”

Finally, check out the many research studies at Butler Hospital to find a study that is right for you.