Did you know that about 22.4% of men with enlarged prostates will experience depression? Benign prostatic hyperplasia is already known for causing erectile dysfunction and urinary tract problems. But now, urologic studies are showing that it can also cause men to experience more depression and anxiety.
Aging men have enough to deal with regarding the urinary symptoms of an enlarged prostate. The most common symptom is urinary incontinence, causing them to run to the bathroom frequently. The frequent need to urinate can interfere with their sleep and ruin their productivity throughout the day.
Worst of all, it is embarrassing when a man cannot find a bathroom in time and ends up urinating in their pants. These traditional symptoms of an enlarged prostate can cause mental health issues for men too. They will start feeling bad about themselves and depressed about their situation. And any time they are in a public place, they will feel anxiety and worry over their incontinence problem.
Remember that an enlarged prostate and urinary incontinence are two different urologic conditions. However, evidence shows that an enlarged prostate can cause urinary incontinence in men, especially older men. The good news is that treatments are available for men suffering from enlarged prostates and urinary incontinence.
The first step is to visit a licensed urologist for a physical examination. The doctor will evaluate the current urinary health and the severity of your enlarged prostate. Based on the examination results, the urologist will probably start you off with medications to reduce the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. The two most common medications are Proscar and Flomax.
Patients experiencing mild symptoms could benefit from these medications. Not only do they have the potential to reduce the size of an enlarged prostate, but you may experience less depression and anxiety too. Your urologist will evaluate you on these medications for a couple of months to see if they are effective or not.
If it turns out that medication is not effective, the next step may have to be surgery. Only a board-certified urologist like Dr. Angelo Gousse can perform the type of surgery that can treat an enlarged prostate and reduce its refractory symptoms. But this doesn’t have to be a severely invasive prostate surgery involving incisions. Instead, you can choose to get laser surgery to treat your enlarged prostate. It is a minimally invasive type of surgery that causes less downtime afterward.
Dealing with Depression and Anxiety
Depression and anxiety are secondary symptoms of an enlarged prostate. It is natural for men to feel afraid and angry about their condition because it is something they have never experienced before. Although an enlarged prostate is not a direct cause of depression and anxiety, you can reduce these symptoms if you reduce the primary symptoms of this urinary condition.
However, you must ensure that your mental health symptoms are a result of your enlarged prostate symptoms. There are lots of possible reasons why people develop depression and anxiety. If you’re someone who never suffered from these symptoms before, then they are likely the result of your enlarged prostate.
On the other hand, if you have battled depression for most of your life, then an enlarged prostate may merely exacerbate this pre-existing condition. That means it will take more than prostate treatment to reduce or eliminate your depression. In this case, your urologist may advise you to talk with a mental health professional for further guidance on battling your depression.
There is no absolute cure for chronic depression. All you can do is continue to receive treatment and counseling from qualified medical professionals. A combination of mental health treatment and enlarged prostate treatment should do a lot to combat your depression and keep it from interfering with your daily life.