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Men’s Health

How To Treat Male-type Depression and Engineer Your Path to Joy

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I was five years old when my uncle drove me to the mental hospital. I was confused and scared.

“Why do I have to go?” I asked Uncle Harry.

He turned his head to me and smiled. “Your father needs you.”

“What’s the matter with him?” I started crying, but I tightened my throat to stop the tears.

He started humming a tune that was popular at the time, Sweet and Lovely. Harry Tobias was a well known songwriter and I knew he wrote this song along with other standards of the time like It’s a Lonesome Old Town and Miss You.

To me, the songs reminded me of a father I would long for all my life. It wasn’t until later that I found out that he had overdosed on sleeping pills because he was getting more irritable, angry, and depressed because he couldn’t make a living to support his family. I grew up wondering what happened to my father, if it was going to happen to me, and how I could keep it from happening to other families like mine.

I was already in college, doing my Masters and PhD when I discovered one of my father’s journals that he had kept in the years leading up to his “nervous breakdown.” I still get tears reading it and thinking about its mounting pain and despair and how many other men and their families suffer.

“4. June:

Your flesh crawls, your scalp wrinkles when you look around and see good writers, established writers, writers with a block of credit, unable to sell, unable to find work, yes it’s enough to get anyone to pale, pale and make you sick.

“15. August:

Faster, faster, faster, I’m going I’m stuck and looking for work, everything to support my family. I try, try, try, try, try I always try and I never stop. I hit my fist against the wall as my despair turns to anger. Why can’t I support my family? What is wrong with me?

“8th. November:

A hundred failures, an infinite number of failures, until now my trust, my hope, my belief in me has been completely used up. Middle-aged, I stand and stare ahead, numb, confused and desperately concerned. Around me I see the youth in the spirit, the youth in the heart, with tenfold confidence, double youth, tenfold fervor, double education.

I see them all, a whole army of them banging on the same doors that I beat, trying in the same area that I try. Yes, on a Sunday morning in early November my hope and my flow of life are desperately low, so low, so stagnant that I hold my breath in fear because I believe the dark, empty curtain is falling. “

Six days after he started on November 8th, my father took the sleeping pills. Although he didn’t die, our life was never the same. It’s probably not surprising that I specialize in gender medicine and have written sixteen books on various aspects of men’s health, including Surviving Male Menopause and The Irritable Male Syndrome: Understanding and Managing the 4 Key Causes of Depression and Aggression.

In The Irritable Male Syndrome, I describe the way our current economic system causes increasing stress in all men. I quoted the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Susan Faludi. In her book, Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man, she concludes that male stress, shame, anger, and depression are not just a problem for individual men, but a product of the economic and social betrayal felt by so many men. She quotes a man she interviewed named Don Motta who may have expressed the pain of my own father and so many other men I see in my counseling practice.

“There is no way you can feel like a man,” Motta said to her. “You can not. It is the fact that I am unable to support my family … when you have bought a house or a car very successfully and you could pay your daughter to college when she didn’t want to, you have a sense of achievement and people see it. I couldn’t support my daughter. I couldn’t support my wife. “

“I will be very open with you,” Motta concluded, speaking very slowly and putting down every word as if it were an increasingly heavy weight. “I … feel … I … was … neutered.”

Motta expresses the feelings I suspect my father felt as so many other men do today. They don’t realize that our social system is broken. You blame yourself. They believe that a man who cannot work and support his family is a man without eggs – not a man at all.

In my counseling practice I see more and more men like my father who get depressed when they cannot make a living. You are just the tip of an iceberg of unemployed or unemployed.

“Men often have a lot of their self-esteem tied up in their work. That makes times of high unemployment, when it is much more difficult to get a new job, especially difficult for their psychological wellbeing. “

says Yavar Moghimi, MD, a psychiatrist at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Services.

“Also, too often men consider that talking about depression and seeking help is a sign of weakness. Combine these and it becomes clear why depression in men should be taken seriously. “

There is another group of men whose depression often goes undetected because they are employed and very successful. In his book Lonely at the Top: The High Cost of Men’s Success, Thomas Joiner, Ph.D. says,

“Men seem to enjoy many advantages in society – on average, they make more money, have more power, and enjoy greater degrees of social freedom than women. But many men pay a high price for the pursuit of success and power. “

One of these men was Mo Gawdat. He enjoyed a thirty year career in the tech industry, culminating as Chief Business Officer at Google X, their “moon shot factory” of innovation. But Mo thought that it looked good on the outside, Mo suffered on the inside.

“Since the day I started to work, I’ve had a lot of success, wealth, and recognition,” says Gawdat. “Still, I was always unhappy. It wasn’t just because life had gotten complicated – you know, like that rap song from the 90s, ‘Mo Money Mo Problems’. The problem was, despite the financial and intellectual rewards, I couldn’t find joy in my life. Even my greatest blessing, my family, did not give me the joy it could have because I did not know how to receive it. “

Eventually Mo hit rock bottom.

“I missed the happy, optimistic young man I had always been, and I was tired of trudging around in the shoes of this tired, miserable, aggressive looking guy. I decided to take my misfortune as a challenge. I would use my geek’s approach to self-study along with my engineer’s analytical mind to unearth my power. “

The results of his efforts are described in his book Solve for Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy. While Mo’s insights and understanding can be helpful to anyone, I believe his approach will be particularly popular with men.

He started by writing a happy list (you can do it yourself. It’s fun). Write down some of the things that make you happy. “The list,” says Mo, “can be nothing more than a string of short, declarative sentences that get to the point and complete the sentence:

“I am happy when _______________.”

My own list includes: my son calls to say hello, I watch a good basketball game, I hear birds sing, I admire the trees in my garden, my wife smiles, my grandson does his happy dance.

Mo then wanted to see what all the things he lists have in common and came up with this simple equation of happiness (remember Mo is a trained engineer):

That is, if you perceive events as equal to or greater than your expectations, then you are happy – or at least not unhappy. Like many things in life, the formula is simple but not easy to practice and live. Mo reminds us of that

“It is not the event that makes us unhappy; that’s how we think about it. “

If I expect my wife to always think I’m wonderful, I’ll be unhappy when she gets upset with me. If I expect the pandemic to end so that life can return to normal, I will be unhappy if it continues to affect our lives. If I expect our elected officials to work together for the good of the country, I will be unhappy if they continue to squabble.

I work a lot with people who are angry and depressed. The underlying problem is invariably the calamity that occurs when events do not meet our expectations.

Everywhere Solve for Happy Mo offers simple summaries that serve as mantras to remember. Here are a few:

  • Happiness is the absence of unhappiness. It reminds me that I don’t have to look for happiness. I just have to get rid of the things that make me unhappy.
  • Happiness is your default state. I can relax. Happiness is mine already.
  • Success is not an essential requirement for happiness. I can get off the treadmill to pursue the next business that I hope will bring me ultimate success.
  • While success does not lead to happiness, luck does to success. In other words, when I “happily dissolve,” success comes as a side effect.

Find out more about Mo’s work here.

This post was previously published on Menalive.com.

***

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Men’s Health

5 Reasons Why You Need the New November Issue of Men’s Health

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How do you feel when you look in the mirror? We asked this question to more than 4,000 of you earlier this year. For two thirds the answer was: dissatisfied. Some of you were deeply unhappy; others simply saw room for improvement.

But the shapes that we strive for – “tall and wide”, “light and slim”, “what keeps me healthy” – differ just as much as our motivations for the will to change, from peer pressure and insensitive comments to improved athletic performance or the Desire for a longer life. In short, it’s complicated.

As the contributing editor of Men’s Health, Jamie Millar, puts it: “The question of male body image is complex, sometimes paradoxical. It is by definition a superficial topic that goes deep – right to the core of who we are, who we want to be, who we would like not to be. We manifest outward values ​​that we have internalized at some point. “

At the same time as we did our survey, Jamie asked five men about their relationships, what they see in the mirror, and his own experiences. You can find his investigative contribution in our November issue, which is available now.

We also conduct an extensive interview with actor Dave Bautista – a man who has made a name for himself with his imposing stature, but who wants to be known for much more than just muscles. Plus, we have all of the recipes, readings, kit reviews, and life hacks you need for a more powerful month. Here you can see what’s inside:

How men really think about their bodies

The male body image is an underestimated and overlooked topic. A combination of cultural influences, competitive instincts, and a conspiracy of remaining silent can often result in the pressure to look good or to look better being felt but seldom discussed. It’s time to reflect on yourself.

Dave Bautista: Unleashed

You might think you might know him as Deacon Batista or Drax the Destroyer. But this stocky 52-year-old – who calls himself a “dream hunter” and starred in the new science fiction film Dune, is only just beginning to come into its own.

Keeping up with Travis Barker

He was a headliner of rock stars until a tragic accident changed everything. Now the Blink-182 drummer is busy building his own wellness business, prioritizing his health, and showing how the long road to recovery can take some unexpected twists and turns.

The best ways to reduce stress (without hitting the bottle)

Whether you want to extend your sober October or just want to make strategic compromises, these tips will put a cork under stress and keep your spirits up at the end of a (very) long day.

7 minutes to a stronger you

No space in your diary for a trip to the gym today? No problem. These four “microdose” body explosions can be made anywhere. You better move in, well, no time.

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Men’s Health

Jeremy Ethier’s No-Equipment 6-Pack Abs Core Training Workout

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If your goal is six pack abs, you have to work hard and eat a disciplined diet – but according to Jeremy Ethier, fitness trainer and founder of Built with Science, you can effectively work your abs without adding a weight. In his latest YouTube video, Ethier shares his four-move abdominal circuit workout without equipment, which he says is tough enough to get real results at home.

First, it addresses three important issues that play an important role in training with your own body weight. Ethier says the key is to hit all four sections of your abs to avoid imbalance in your body and avoid a routine that favors certain regions over the others. He adds that most bodyweight workouts don’t make the exercises harder over time in order to continually stimulate the growth of your abs. In other words, there is no possibility of progressive overload. After all, he says that way too many bodyweight abs exercises will strain your hip flexors and lower back more than your abs – so his workout addresses that issue too.

By solving these three problems, Ethier says you can use this workout for even more effective body weight ab training.

The 6-pack training without equipment

Repeat for 3 rounds, resting 15 seconds between each exercise. Rest 2 minutes between each set.

Failures: 5 to 10 repetitions
Reverse crunches:
10 to 25 repetitions
Crunch:
10 to 25 repetitions
Russian twins:
1 minute continuously

Failures

This movement hits your TVA (transverse abs), which, according to Ethier, is the least talked about about abs. While using an abdominal roll is a great choice to accomplish this, this workout doesn’t use any equipment. Instead, you can achieve a similar effect with work stoppages.

To do this, take all fours with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Rotate your hips and contract your abs, pulling your belly button into your spine to activate your TVA. Slowly step out with your hands, going only as far out as you can maintain this shape without arching your back, and then step back with your hands.

Reverse crunches

This movement targets the lower abs – Ethier calls it a “bottom-up” exercise, one that lifts your lower body up, like a leg raise.

To do this, lie on your back with your arms straight at your sides and your knees bent at 90 degrees. To initiate your lower abs, squeeze your glutes and contract your abs to create that backward pelvic tilt and press your back against the floor. Instead of thinking about lifting your legs, roll your pelvis towards your belly button. Avoid arching your lower back on the way down and keep it flat on the floor when you hit the floor. You can make this easier or harder depending on how much you pull your legs in or out.

crunch

Crunches hit your upper abs and Ethier sees it as a top-down exercise that brings the top half of your body down.

But you shouldn’t just fall down and bend over like you might be used to. To perform crunches that don’t overwhelm your hip flexors, Ethier recommends using a tool: a rolled-up towel. Start by leaning back, knees bent, and hands folded behind your head. Place the towel under your lower back to increase the range of motion in your abs. Lift your shoulder blades off the floor by flexing your spine and come back down. Do not bring your torso to your knees and avoid tugging your neck to avoid using momentum. Make the reps harder by placing your hands over your head or (when you’re ready to stop the non-gait protocol) using a weight.

Russian twins

These hit the obliques, which Ethier says are best attacked by movements that twist the upper body.

Ethier also warns that most people get this exercise wrong. To make Russian twists more effective, tilt your back at a 45-degree angle. The goal is to touch both sides of the floor with your hands as you rotate your torso so your shoulders dictate the rotation. Focus on aligning your shoulder with your leg. (Your left shoulder lines up with your left leg as you twist to the right.)

To encourage this movement, lift your feet slightly off the floor and try to reach out with your arms further and further out to force your obliques to work harder to stabilize your body.

Ethier recommends doing the workout two to three times a week along with your other workouts. Most importantly, you shouldn’t just stick to the basic structure. When it gets easier, he says you should increase the repetitions and add the progressions he demonstrates for the movements. That way, you can actually take advantage of progressive overload to encourage growth without adding extra weight.


Emily Shiffer is a former men’s health and prevention digital web producer and currently a freelance writer specializing in health, weight loss, and fitness.

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Men’s Health

The No-Sweat Guide to Getting Your Fall Fitness Gear Locked Down

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Fall has always been known as the season of change, but this time it feels different. Beyond the sinking temperatures and dwindling hours of daylight, we are entering a season in which the world as we knew it has changed. It seems like every type of business and industry – restaurants, offices, gyms, cinemas, fashion brands, schools, to name a few – has rethought their approach to everything. And the advantage? Some of these things just make a lot more sense.

One advantage that I have come to appreciate is an optimized and more efficient shopping experience. Often seen as a chore, shopping has taken on a real shine thanks to the unexpected rise of the QR code, of all things. I rarely used them in early 2020 and now I pull out my phone every time I see one – especially in restaurants and shops – knowing it will make my life a lot easier. PayPal and Venmo rushed with a backup, making transactions seamless and secure. You can also continue to collect credit card points when you pay with your credit card through the PayPal app. Win win.

Now even the fitness industry is taking part in the QR code promotion, as brands like Foot Locker, Inc. are accepting PayPal and Venmos no-contact checkout in stores. When home exercise suddenly became the norm, the demand for fitness equipment skyrocketed and has not decreased since then. Brands had to find smart, new ways to get you the things they needed with no hassle. After all, what better way to motivate yourself to sweat it out among strangers (virtual or not) than channeling all of those seizures you had in the weight room?

When it comes to an unprecedented variety of products and brands designed specifically for performance, you will find no better place to shop than the Foot Locker family of stores – which includes Foot Locker, Champs Sports and Footaction. And when you’re getting your workout mojo back into shape, we highly recommend diving in for a hassle-free replenishment that doesn’t have to worry about the return. Here is what you can buy in store.

A sweat-free wardrobe

From sleek, minimalist sweatpants with sporty details to cozy (and trendy!) Sweatshirts, Foot Locker is jam-packed with stylish gear that will get you back to the gym and turn your head without breaking a sweat. For the comings and goings, there’s nothing like Nike’s retro lightweight outerwear, and stock up on these signature Adidas tees that will let everyone know you take style seriously. Getting back into a routine can be tricky, but shopping won’t be: you can just scan and pay with PayPal or Venmo while knowing your banking details are under lock and key.

Standard edition pants

Nike
footlocker.com

$ 75.00

Anorak waffle 2 jacket

Anorak waffle 2 jacket

Nike
footlocker.com

$ 150.00

Classic pullover hoodie

Classic pullover hoodie

champion
footlocker.com

$ 50.00

Originals Essential T-Shirt

Originals Essential T-Shirt

Adidas
footlocker.com

$ 25.00

Some workout kicks you can trust

Every good workout starts with a solid foundation. You have to feel the ground beneath your feet, whether you’re flying over the asphalt and barely touching down or have a good firm hold to lift a heavy weight. Heck, even sipping in the locker room requires proper footwear. While Vans iconic shoes may be one of the few that can be said to be timeless and really serious, a lot of people like them for lifting – their flat insoles provide maximum contact to be properly grounded. In the meantime, the Asics Gel-Cumulus 23 and the Brooks Ghost 14 are the go-to place for guys looking to cover some serious miles and take some time off their splits. And there is no better locker room shoe than an Adidas slide, another style that could be considered a modern classic. Checking out with any of these styles using PayPal and Venmo QR Codes can feel just as fast as your sprint record.

GEL-Cumulus 23

GEL-Cumulus 23

ASICS
footlocker.com

$ 120.00

Adilette slide

Adilette slide

Adidas
footlocker.com

$ 45.00

Spirit 14

Spirit 14

Brooks
footlocker.com

$ 130.00

EVDNT

EVDNT

Vans
footlocker.com

$ 100.00

A couple of fresh upgrades

Even after the session, you need to make sure that everything is right from head to toe. To get started, grab a fitted cap (with just the right amount of high-end designer co-sign) to keep the sun out of your eyes, like this one from cult LA-based brand Fear of God. Grab a sleek, versatile tote bag to carry all of your essentials – sneakers, a couple of protein bars, and a change of clothes – and one that adds value to your outfit, doesn’t distract you. Finally, add a touch of contrast to your outfit with a pair of eye-catching socks. You will need them to remind others that despite your impressive muscle gains, you are still a fun guy.

Adapted cap

Adapted cap

Fear of god
footlocker.com

$ 65.00

A travel bag

A travel bag

Nike
footlocker.com

$ 65.00

Tie-dye socks

Tie-dye socks

Nike
footlocker.com

$ 18.00

3-pack of briefs

While you might not find shopping fun, you at least know that technology has finally made it easy to get your hands on the best gear of the season. You can’t ask for more, can you?

Find out more about paying in person with PayPal or Venmo QR Codes in Foot Locker, Inc. stores here

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