Why is Men's Mental Health important?
The male mental health stigma often causes men to ignore the symptoms of mental health issues. Depression, anxiety, family or relationship issues, stress - all things men experience just like the rest of us.
So what is the stigma around men's mental health?
Stigma not only stops men from speaking to their loved ones about mental challenges but also from addressing it themselves or seeking help. This includes social stigma, self-stigma, professional stigma, and cultural stigma.
Why talk about it?
Research has shown that personal and professional conversations reduce stigma, breakdown societal expectations and increase likelihood of accessing support. It also reduces the risk of suicide.
Talking about stress from a male's perspective.
Men may be less inclined to talk about their emotional state, but talking things through can really help you to put a new perspective on a situation or worry, allowing you to actively deal with your issues.
Did you know...
Men are 3 x more likely to die by suicide compared to women
Ages 40-48 have the highest suicide rates in the UK
Men report lower levels of life satisfaction compared to women
Only 36% of referrals to NHS talking therapies are for men
How do males react to stress?
Similarly to the rest of us– fight or flight.
In general, this mechanism is triggered most prominently in men. In response to a stressful incident, a cascade of stress hormones is released. These hormones lead to physiological changes, such as a pounding heart, tense muscles, sweating and rapid breathing.
What about depression?
These symptoms are more common in men than women: include irritability, sudden anger, increased loss of control, risk-taking and aggression. Men may also be more likely to use alcohol and drugs to cope with their depression rather than talking about it and use more escapist behaviour, for example, throwing themselves into their work.
What can stress do to a male?
If not addressed, stress can lead to Mental health challenges, such as chronic depression, anxiety, and personality disorders. Cardiovascular diseases, such as coronary heart disease, hypertension, arrhythmia, and heart attacks. Obesity. Sexual dysfunctional problems, such as impotence and premature ejaculation.
Why don't men talk about their mental wellbeing?
Men don't talk about their problems for a number of reasons. Some are not comfortable with just talking, gender roles has a part to play in expectation of women to talk and men to DO. This can be difficult when traditional helping services require you to spend long periods of time talking without practical steps or opportunities to do.
Some have learnt from past experience that the best way to deal with a problem is to keep it to themselves. There is still a notion that men don't cry or men don't care. As a result when there is a problem, many will try and deal with it himself.
Some have tired and found the responsive unhelpful, pointless or even rejecting. Some have found that they were left misunderstood which made them feel worse. Nobody wants that, this is why it is so important to speak about it so we can encourage and support what works.
How can you help?
Provide a safe and confidential listening space
Normalise men having feelings and expressing them
Support men to connect with other men who may be going through similar things
You can find out more here and find further support:
To discover the benefits that counselling can provide for male mental health, feel free to contact me on the information below.
T: 07588 771704