(Disclaimer: This transcript is using AI technology. Please excuse any errors.)
Welcome to the Atheists in Recovery Podcast, where we talk about finding hope in recovery. And now your host, Dr. Adina Silvestri
Adina Silvestri 0:11
Konichiwa atheists in recovery land and welcome to Episode 61 of the Atheists in Recovery podcast. And today we are diving into a book. I haven't done one of these in a while. So I'm pretty excited the book is called, I don't want to talk about it, overcoming the secret legacy of male depression by Terry real. And so today I want to talk about five takeaways from the book. And the book is it's rich, chock full of knowledge. But these are the five takeaways that I want to go over with you. And maybe this will make sense maybe you'll make some connections that you hadn't May before but if nothing else, hopefully you'll gain some insight into male depression and how we externalize it through addiction. Okay, let's get started. Number one, men's hidden depression. So I liked how Terry real and by the way, Terry rail is a therapist. I liked how he started the book talking about how you can pass depression on from parent to child across generations, sort of like a chain of pain, linking parent to child across generations. And so, to me that really resonated. He talks about men's depression, and how men are not supposed to be vulnerable. Pain is something that you are supposed to rise above however, When you do that, the shame will come. Hidden depression causes many of the problems. He talks about physical illness, substance abuse, self sabotage and careers. And then there's this double stigma. If you talk about depression, then you are more of a feminine emotionally. And also you're saying that you have a mental illness. And so a lot of men won't seek help, especially because of those two things. And it often goes unnoticed. He cites a statistic and I haven't checked it out, but it sounds pretty close to what it actually is so huge. So there's a huge tool in our society for from this hidden depression. About 60 to 80% of people with depression never get help. And I know that in my practice of the last seven years, I could probably count up One hand the amount of individuals that came to me saying I have depression, they usually come in for other reasons. Okay, number two, overt versus covert depression. And so cheery real splits up the depression into two different categories. And he and this is a common theme throughout the book. He says that we don't like to think of driven men as depressed. And when we think about the truly depressed, if we look at the DSM five, which is the way that the medical profession classifies and treats diagnoses, the signs are sitting in bed all day, feeling down feeling blue, maybe, you know, maybe listless, unmotivated, crying, and I could go on and on, there are many, there are many symptoms. So he talks about cheating offshoots of this over depression, which he classifies as acute and dramatic, and there's very little research on overt depression and there's even less research on covert depression which is mild, elusive, and chronic. And so the definition of manhood lines up with standing up to discomfort standing up to pain and or more likely to stand up to depression by doubling the efforts at work, then feeling the feelings. We love, invulnerability, and men just look at our action movies. We never saw Arnold getting in touch with his feelings in my right. Okay, so those are the definitions of overt versus covert depression. Number three, how depression leads to numbing the pain. With behaviors and addictions,
turning to any substance, person or action to regulate one's self esteem can be called an addictive process and he goes over what it means to be covertly depressed and then to turn to external factors. And so when a covert depressed man's addiction to the object is undisturbed, he feels good about himself when connection to that object is disrupted. When the cocaine runs out, when the credit cards are maxed out, when the object of his desire fails, then the affair ends, then his sense of self worth plummets. That's when the hidden depression comes out. And it'll start to unfold such that it drives him back to the drug. Back to the work back to the next sexual conquest. And so most people that are unaffected by depression would be thrilled at getting a raise at being acknowledged at work at being the object of someone's desire. But when we have a baseline in which we already feel good about ourselves or feel neutral about ourselves, then we're not we're not sort of falling to pieces when those things don't happen for us. In contrast that can really depressed man. covertly sorry, depressed man relies on such extreme stimulants to rectify an inner baseline of shame. And so this cycle then continues on and on. We run out of the external behavior or the addiction and then we feel bad We have to cover up the shame. So then we reach back for that addiction. And I mean, this could this could last years, maybe even decades for some of us. And I liked how he talks about the different drugs and how they can make you feel like the and I've heard this before my practice like so for the alcohol piece, the first drink warms us up and makes us feel good makes that emptiness go away. And I thought, wow, that's such a great description of what alcohol can do for us, instead of just being something that we occasionally drink, and doesn't really have any lasting effects on our self worth. Okay, number four, gender differences and how one handles depression. So I'm not gonna spend too much time on this because I also want to get to a story. So for the traditional socialization, Rules it hurts both women and men, girls and boys. So, right so gender with girls girls tend to internalize pain. They blame themselves. I'm unworthy, there's something wrong with me. They draw that distress into themselves and then boys later men tend to externalize pain, they're more likely to feel victimized by others or to discharge that distress through action. And I see this in my practice as well, you know, many psychiatric patients and psychiatric ward will outnumber females, the male's will outnumber females in physical aggression, at the time of arrival at the units. And there's a very, there's a very different way that girls and boys handle depression. And I think that that's a really important point to to bring up. So I want to switch gears before we move on to five. Our final point today and talk about David. This is a fictional client, David. He's mid 30s. And outwardly he seems to have it all together. His Facebook pictures look, you know that like perfect the picture perfect story, the wave the kids the dog is at the top of the game of his game at work, but his actions show a very different plotline. And his depression drives many of his actions, but he's failing to get help because his diagnosis doesn't meet the classic definition of depression, which is what we talked a little bit about in point number two. So he buries himself at work is one way that he takes action he wraps himself in anger.
He numbs his discontent with alcohol. When his wife doesn't respond to his advances, he begins to wall her off. And maybe as kids, he's probably getting pretty angry at them, too. And so, in my work, it seems that the relationship issues are depression driven. These individuals like David aren't going to come to me though and say that they have depression. In fact, it might happen that they come to me and very different routes, they're probably going to come in because their relationship is failing. They're probably going to come in because they can't seem to get along with their sons or their daughters. They're always butting heads, they're always fighting. Or he may come in because he's been told he has an anger problem. And that's a very, at least for me because I specialize in anger. that's a that's a very common pathway for individuals to start to get help. And of course, I wouldn't say to them, hey, you have depression, that's what I'm going to treat, because that would probably turn them off. Actually, I know it would. But we definitely get to the root cause of their actions of what's happening with them. And we're probably going to do rain more than once. We're probably going to have a link to R.A.I.N's episode in the show notes. We're probably going to talk about how what he's doing has roots back to his childhood and learning about those shame parts and learning about those anger parts and figuring out where they be. And so that's just a little, a little peek into David. But it happens all too often and the relationship issues are more often than not depression driven. Okay, number five. So the number five is isn't much point as it is a thread, an autobiographical thread that weaves its way through the story and it's so gripping and it's so raw. And so Terry real talks about his clients, he gives several examples of his clients that he's treated throughout the years. But he also talks about his own journey with depression, and his relationship with his father and man, it is a troubled one and he goes into great detail about the fights that he would have with his dad and how he contextualizes them now versus then how he's changed which is just remarkable. I mean, he was Doing and using every drug known to man when he was a teen and not really becoming the best version of himself, not by a longshot until, you know, he started to get help for the depression, this undiagnosed depression. Luckily though, at the very end of the book, he brings us to this moving conclusion with his dad and I think you'll really enjoy that. Okay, guys, so that is the five takeaways from I don't want to talk about it, overcoming the secret legacy of male depression. And I want to just end by saying that you can stand up to depression, and once you do, the healing will begin. unresolved depression can be passed on like from father to son, despite one's best intentions. And with this healing, you can affect your children, your child children's children from not going through the pain and suffering that that you had to endure. And that's huge. So you can affect up to three generations of family members just by breaking the cycle just by breaking this legacy, this toxic legacy. And so that's my little PSA to you. And if you're concerned about calling it depression, but you do think that you have things to work on, start there, call a professional call therapist, and just say these are the things that are going on in my life and I really want to work on them. And that's it. That's all you have to say the therapist will take it from there. They're not going to label you.
Well, they shouldn't anyway, label you with anything. That is incorrect. They just want you to be helped. They just want the family to heal and so That's my message to you. So it's a good book. I'm gonna leave a link to it in the show notes and I hope you enjoyed this episode of Adina's book review. Okay, guys, thanks a lot.
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Welcome to today’s show!
In today’s solo episode, I’m sharing a book that has helped me to better understand Depression-especially male depression. In the show, outline 5 takeaways from the book.
WHAT WE’LL LEARN
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