Duck Derby Helps Fund Depression and Other Men’s Health Services
While few men want to talk about depression, its effects are far-reaching in our society.
The director of an acute behavioral health unit in Arkansas reports about 80% of the admitted population of the short-term care unit has been diagnosed at risk or having made a suicide attempt. “I was surprised by the high number of patients who are having suicidal thoughts or who have carried out plans,” he said.
These patients are diagnosed with major clinical depression. Depression is a common and serious mood disorder that affects the ability to feel, think, and handle daily activities.
Many of them are men who often face major societal stressors as the primary providers for families. They are less likely than women to seek help for symptoms of depression which allows the condition to worsen.
Because men who are depressed may appear to be angry or aggressive instead of sad, their families, friends, and even their doctors may not always recognize the anger or aggression as depression symptoms, according to the National Institute of Mental Health Information. In addition, men are less likely than women to recognize, discuss, and seek treatment for depression.
A man must have symptoms of major/clinical depression for two weeks before it can be diagnosed. Women are more likely to talk about feelings of depression and their symptoms can be quite different from men.
Some men with depression hide their emotions and may seem to be angry, irritable, or aggressive while women express sadness. Men’s symptoms can include tiredness, loss of interest in work, family or hobbies, thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts, need for alcohol or drugs, feelings of emptiness or hopelessness, problems with sexual desire or performance, sleep issues, and withdrawing from family and friends.
These issues can result from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) caused by difficult childhood issues, including verbal and physical abuse by parents or others, a strong need for attention, or other issues that lead to feelings of inadequacy.
Doctors often refer individuals with severe depression and mood disorders to short-stay, acute behavioral health units for diagnosis, therapy, and treatment. While these units don’t cure the disorders, they introduce patients to techniques for managing their depression and set up long-term outpatient follow up care.
Group interaction can help refocus patients’ minds on activities that can begin to alleviate the feelings of guilt and blame that brought about depression.
Men with depression are at risk for suicide. If you or someone you know is in crisis, get help quickly.
- Call your doctor
- Call 911 for emergency services
- Go to the nearest hospital emergency room
- Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
- Veterans can call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 then press 1
In many instances, a crisis can be avoided when friends or family members are involved in the treatment and can recognize crisis warning signs. Crisis warning signs are different for different people. One person may have more trouble sleeping and become more agitated. Another person may sleep more, stop eating, and focus on disturbing thoughts. Creating a plan that lists the loved one’s warning signs—those actions that usually occur before a crisis—and the health care provider’s contact information may help avoid a crisis.
Arkansas Duck Derby funds benefit Conway Regional Health System’s men’s health initiative. The funding has established an Adult Psychiatric Unit (Behavioral Health) at Conway Regional Medical Center. The fourth annual Arkansas Duck Derby kicks off on Thursday, January 5, 2023, with a pre-hunt banquet, live and silent auctions, raffles, food, entertainment, and much more. The community is invited to attend regardless of whether individuals are participating in the next day’s festivities. The games begin Friday morning with the much-anticipated competitive hunt, winners of which will receive 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes. Proceeds from the annual event will benefit Conway Regional’s Men’s Health Initiative.