Listing of Peer Associations and Networks http://www.peer.ca/peerassociations.html ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Symptoms of Depression in Men by Mary Calvagna. From Beliefnet.com. Depression—once thought of as a woman's disease—is appearing more frequently in men. Nearly 20 million Americans suffer from depression each year; over six million of these sufferers are men. Male depression may include symptoms not normally thought of as the classic symptoms associated with depression. As a result, depression can be difficult to recognize in men, and doctors may be less likely to suspect depression as the cause of a man's complaints. In addition, men may not be willing to admit that they are feeling depressed. Symptoms Associated With Male Depression:
Using alcohol or drugs to self medicate
Working excessively long hours
Watching excessive amounts of television
Becoming irritable or angry
Becoming violent to himself or others
Acting overtly or covertly hostile
Classic Symptoms of Depression:
Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood
Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
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, or overeating and 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
Two-thirds of people who suffer from depression do not seek help. It is crucial, however, that depression be diagnosed and treated— untreated depression has been linked to suicide. Of those who seek treatment, 80% experience significant improvement and lead productive lives. Retrieved January 16, 2006 from http://www.beliefnet. com/healthandhealing/getcontent.aspx?cid=14176 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Stress Management: Coping with Duality and Dichotomy in Law Enforcement By Dr. Frank Kardasz, April 8, 2007 Reflecting sadly upon the 1968 murder of Martin Luther King Jr., Robert F. Kennedy said, "Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world." The savageness to which the Greeks referred is part of the duality and dichotomy of the human condition. Duality is defined as the quality or character of being twofold. Dichotomy is simply the division into two contradictory parts. Humans sometimes experience opposing and conflicting character aspects, resulting in dichotomous displays of emotion. Personality and behavioral characteristics, tempered by self-control mechanisms, determine whether behavior will be ethical or unethical. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are fictitious but extreme examples of behavioral duality and dichotomy.
Regarding the dual instincts of man, Harold S. Kushner, author of "Living a Life that Matters" (p. 49) said:
So what kind of people are we? Are we naturally good and pure until external circumstances compromise our goodness? Or are we naturally weak and deceitful, needing conscience or outside authority to keep us in line? My answer is that we are both. I see every human being as having good and bad tendencies, impulses to charity and impulses to selfishness, the desire to be truthful and the desire to lie.
Internal psychological struggles occur between human basic instincts. Behavioral pathways towards aggression, greed, sexuality, substance abuse, depression and anti-social behavior can be impacted by personal and situational factors, challenging our ability to maintain ethical conduct. Failure to restrain actions can lead to dysfunctions in social, family and professional life. Duality and dichotomy of conflicting emotions are often apparent in law enforcement situations. Consider for example, a fatal drunk- driving accident, where a first responder may experience intense sorrow for the mangled innocent victim, and alternating rage towards the uninjured impaired driver who caused the accident. Challenging situational and social conditions also influence behavior. Proper and ethical behavior is controlled by the ability to make logical decisions. Logic-based decision-making tools aid in selecting the proper course of conduct. Psychologists often describe an emotional "bucket" into which one deposits and accumulates stressful personal incidents. Unless effective stress management is practiced, the bucket fills and overflows. When the bucket overflows, the individual may react negatively. For example, the emotional bucket may fill when an accumulating series of traumatic events occur. Individuals who experience events such as bankruptcy, divorce, death of a loved one, and job-related traumatic incidents may reach an emotional overload point. The emotional "bucket" can fill quickly and unexpectedly. An officer on a busy shift may witness trauma, suffering and injustice several times each day: frustrated by an inability to stop the continuing unfairness, the emotional bucket overflows. The accumulated emotional strain may cause the officer to react. Post traumatic stress is a condition that can result from emotional overload. Law enforcement personnel are expected to adhere to high standards of conduct in accordance with their sworn code of ethics. Officers are particularly susceptible to emotional overload. Cumulative and unmanaged stress can contribute to law enforcement misconduct when the individual's internal self-control mechanisms deteriorate. Stress management is important in maintaining balanced and healthy behavior. Without effective stress management for the release of emotional conflict, some form of misconduct may result. Ideally, an individual self-evaluates, monitors one's own emotions and participates in activities to release and reduce stress. Stress reduction activities may include exercise, proper nutrition, hobbies, family outings, fraternal or civic organizations, religion, meditation, and other appropriate techniques. Therapeutic stress-reduction activities are preferable to dysfunctional activities such as substance abuse, aggression, depression and anti-social acts that tend to result in added stress. Evidence of the untamed savageness of man is experienced daily by those who choose law enforcement as a career. Field officers witness firsthand the worst that mankind offers. The duality and dichotomy of the frail human condition persists, causing stress and psychological impact upon law enforcement employees. Understanding and coping with accumulating emotions and managing stress effectively helps towards maintaining ethical conduct.
References Kennedy. Robert. F. (1968, April 4). Statement on the assassination of Martin Luther King. Indianapolis, Indiana. Retrieved October 20, 2007, from http://www.jfklibrary. org/Historical+Resources/Archives/ Reference+Desk/Speeches/RFK/Statement+on+the+Assassination+ of+Martin+Luther+King.htm Kushner, H. S. (2002). Living a Life that Matters. South Burlington, Vermont.: Anchor.