Understanding Men’s Emotional Baggage

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As a woman, you can easily understand when your female friends suffer from emotional difficulties. Unlike your female relationships, dealing with your husband’s emotions may make you frustrated and confused. Like women, men often experience bouts of anger, sadness and depression. However, men may display their emotions differently, causing you to wonder why he acts the way he does and wondering what you can do to help him deal with his emotional baggage.

Incidence

According to MayoClinic.com, about 6 million men living in the United States experience depression each year. Emotional difficulties, including depression, often go undiagnosed in men. Although depression may occur almost twice as often in women, men often have a more difficult time recognizing their emotional problems.

Symptoms

Emotional baggage can cause unhealthy behavior. While you may prefer talking about your problems, your husband may prefer to keep them to himself. Certain symptoms indicate the presence of emotional problems. Your man may seem excessively elated, irritable and restless during manic episodes. He may also display an increase in talking, sexual desire and poor judgment. Many men try to deal with their emotional baggage by refusing to talk about their feelings, abusing alcohol and drugs, and taking up risky behaviors, including reckless driving and sexual liaisons.

Causes

A number of factors can cause emotional problems. Denial or refusal to deal with problems can create a heap of emotional baggage. Childhood experiences, as well as genetic factors, medical problems and job difficulties, can all lead to emotional baggage. Financial stress, job difficulties and family problems can increase his emotional difficulties.

Helpful Measures

You can help your husband begin dealing with his emotional baggage by helping him recognize the symptoms he exhibits. Talk about the reasons he drinks, gets angry or refuses to talk about his problems. The National Institute of Mental Health recommends men take up mild exercise and participate in enjoyable activities. Encourage him to join a gym, civic group or enjoy male-bonding activities with his friends.

Professional Assistance

A licensed therapist can help get to the root of your husband’s emotional baggage. Help him find a counselor that encourages him to discuss his feelings and experiences. Be willing to participate in assignments or activities his counselor recommends. These group and partner activities can help you understand what your husband is going through. A medical doctor can help rule out physical illnesses and disorders that may contribute to his emotional problems.

Photo Credit

  • a sad lonely young man on winter stadium image by sorokka from Fotolia.com

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