Research has shown that men aren’t speaking up enough about their mental health, leading them to seek out unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Almost three-quarters of men do not seek help for mental disorders like depression and anxiety, while a third of men feel mental illness is treated with less concern than physical illness. Dr Stuart Arbuckle from St John’s Health, says it doesn’t come as a surprise. “If I had a dollar for every man that came in and said the wife made me come in, I just need you to tell me I’m alright, before presenting a long list of reasons they are not alright.” This could be due to the strong perception that men should be tough and mask their emotions, as well as the stigma surrounding mental health and how it can be seen as a weakness you should persevere through. But hiding their struggles is doing more damage than good.
Depression and anxiety can be due to genetics or triggers like unemployment, bad relationships, or isolation. You may have depression or anxiety if you experience these symptoms: loss of interest in your hobbies, sense of hopelessness, over or under sleeping, eating too much or too little, mood swings and excessive worry. Dr Stuart encouraged men struggling with their mental health to speak to a GP.
“What is the worst that can happen? If you are concerned that we won’t take it seriously I can tell you that is not going to be the case. You will find someone who understands and have sympathy of the problem. Sometimes all we need to do is sit and talk about it. There is a wide array of treatments depending on your situation.”
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