Gynecomastia and Depression. Gynecomastia is a benign condition characterized by excessive glandular tissue and fat in the breast area of men. Often referred to as moobs, or man boobs, this condition negatively impacts a man’s self esteem and is highly correlated with the development of depression or anxiety.
Psychological Effects of Breasts in Men
Although excessive breast tissue is rarely a cause for physical concern, though in some cases it can mean an increased risk of breast cancer, the effects on a man’s self esteem are dramatic. Frequently, many men will develop mental health problems due to shame and embarrassment over something they cannot control.
In an effort to conceal their condition, men will avoid going to the beach or other social functions because they are unhappy with how they look in what they wear. Peers can often tease or bully adolescents over their condition, leading to more stress and worry. A combination of medication and psychotherapy can go a long way toward helping a man with these self-esteem issues.
Difference between Gynecomastia and Psuedogynecomastia
Whereas gynecomastia is the development of actual breast tissue in men, psuedogynecomastia is a small mass of fat tissue that forms directly beneath the nipple. Incidentally, this can lead to puffy nipples or large areola. A combination of diet and exercise to reduce overall body fat and define pectoral muscles is the recommended treatment for pseudogynecomastia. Many men have a combination of glandular tissue and fat in the breast region, requiring multiple treatment methods.
Causes of Extra Breast Tissue in Men
In the majority of cases, enlarged breasts in men begins during puberty. In fact, according to an article written by Brian Labow, MD, it appears that almost 70 percent of adolescent males may experienced enlarged breasts throughout the course of their lives. This condition typically occurs when there’s an imbalance in a male’s hormones, such as too much estrogen and too little testosterone, which is a common occurrence during puberty.
Certain health conditions may also cause an increase in breast tissue. These include hypogonadism, hyperthyroidism, organ failure, and malnutrition. Because these health conditions increase or decrease certain hormones, the imbalance often leads to too much estrogen and the development of excessive breast tissue in men.
Another cause of enlarged breasts in men is medications or street drugs. Medications used to treat cancer, AIDS, ulcers, and heart conditions may be culprits. Additionally, some other drugs can increase breast size in men:
- Anti-anxiety and antidepressant medicines
- Anabolic steroids
- Herbal remedies
While this condition most often has an onset during puberty, it can also occur during aging. From the ages of 50 to 69, men have an increased risk of developing excessive tissue in the breasts as testosterone levels drop.
Gynecomastia May Resolve on Its Own
Once a physican identifies the cause, it is easier to determine the best treatment method. For example, if a health condition is the cause of increased glandular tissue, treating the underlying cause may help man boobs to disappear. If medication or other drugs are to blame, then stopping illegal substances or changing medication may help.
When this condition begins during puberty, there is a good chance that it will resolve on its own. Consequently, this can take anywhere from a few months to a couple of years following adolescence. Although up to 90 percent of these cases may resolve on their own, as stated in a journal article by George Ansstas, MD, this condition may continue on into adulthood. Furthermore, when this condition begins in later years, it is unlikely to go away on its own.
Treatment Options for Large Breasts in Men
Certain medications can be beneficial in reducing excessive breast tissue in men. However, as with any type of prescribed drug, there is always the risk of side effects.
Perhaps the most effective treatment for this condition is surgery. While there is no physical danger in having large breasts, the psychological impact can be profound. Thus, when no other treatments have been successful, removal of the breast tissue or fat may be the only option. However, you should not make the decision to have a surgical procedure completed while experiencing anxiety or depression. Those afflicted with this condition should undergo intensive counseling before deciding that surgery is the best option.
There Are Additional Options
While waiting for treatment to work or for a surgical procedure, or if you have decided against surgery, there are clothing options that can help to reduce the appearance of large breasts or swollen nipples. Compression garments made specifically for men can flatten the appearance of breasts.
You can wear a compression shirts or compression vests by Confidence Bodywear, available in black or white, under any clothing for a smooth silhouette. Therefore, you will be able to wear these comfortably with your favorite clothes for a great confidence boost.
Alternatively, if you prefer t-shirts, you can get one in black that that you can wear alone or under your favorite jacket. Slimming the chest, this compression shirt also smooths out rolls and bumps.If you suffer from psuedogynecomastia, Confidence Bodywear can help in that area too. Hide swollen nipples with flesh-colored nipple covers. Very discreet, these covers will help flatten nipples and hide large areolas with flexible, breathable comfort. You can wear these alone or in combination with a compression shirt for maximum control of excess breast tissue.