Firstly, we want to say that mental health isn’t just that someone else suffers from. At some stage, all of us will deal with mental health issues. Today we want to focus on men’s mental health issues and where to start.
What is mental health?
That is such a complex question and there is no one definite answer. The term “Mental health” is often used to describe:
- Anxiety conditions
- and others
In fact, the World Health Organisation defines mental health as ” a state of well-being in which each individual realises his or her own potential and can cope with the normal stress of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”. So that would be describing someone as having mental wellbeing.
Mental health illness is completely different. Mental health affects not only the person who is suffering it from it but their family and friends. There are many different forms of mental health illness, and sadly it is affecting young people more and more. As an example, social media is having an impact on young people as bullying occurs online on some sites. Causing more suicides in young people.
Men’s mental health issues
As men, it is quite normal sometimes to feel down, sad, distressed and anxious. Although if it lasts too long and starts to affect your daily life. Then it’s important to have a check-up with your doctor to investigate what is going on.
Signs of being unwell mentally:
- Not enjoying doing things that you would normally do
- Having problems with friends and family
- Changes in your sleeping habits, and in your appetite
- Feeling sad or down for long periods of time
- Crying for no definite reason
- Having difficulties with your memory and lacking concentration
- Thinking negative or unusual thoughts
- Feeling unusually worried or stressed
- Becoming involved in risky behaviour that you would normally avoid. For example, drug-taking or drinking heavily
Bullying in the workplace may cause mental stress or cause an existing condition to worsen. Stress with your work may also impact on your feelings.
Is a form of mental health, which has a person feeling so down about life and their situation, that they can’t lift themselves out of that black cloud. There is no real cause for depression as it’s likely an event or situation in your life has brought you to this state.
If you are feeling down more days than not in a week then there is a chance that there is something serious going on with you? The more you feel down the more you feel like doing nothing then that feeling escalates to the point that you need help. Help is always available, from your doctor, from Lifeline and Beyond Blue.
Is another form of mental health. This illness causes the sufferer to have extreme highs and lows in their moods. People with this condition can experience moods that don’t necessarily make sense in the context of what is going on around them.
The moods are very disruptive and can make daily life very difficult. It is thought that the chemical elements in the brain are not in balance, as well, the environment and stress may cause this condition to occur.
Research has found that around 80% is genetic. People who are bipolar can maintain a good quality of life given the right treatment and care.
Is a disorder where the sufferer experiences hallucinations and delusions. Characterised by the abnormal thought process and unstable moods. Sadly it is a lifelong illness that impacts on daily living. As yet there is no cure for this illness but medication is able to control it to a certain extent.
Psychoses is a term to describe some psychological symptoms that have an impact on a person’s perception and understanding of reality. Unfortunately, it occurs in late adolescents and in early adulthood.
There is no scan to show up the symptoms of psychoses, but may be diagnosed by a mental health professional. Some symptoms are hearing voices or seeing things that no one else can. Disorganisation in thought, speech or behaviour.
The benefit of staying well
It is important for everyone to have a balanced life, socialising with friends, learning new things, being productively creative. Keeping active and fit. Is also important to have regular exercise as exercise releases endorphins into your body and they give you a feeling of wellbeing.
Talk to a friend or family member you can trust if you are feeling down. Sometimes just talking and letting go of the stress you are experiencing can make a world of difference to your mental wellbeing. It may surprise you to find that the person you speak to has had similar thought and problems as you.
Work can make us feel good about ourselves, giving you a sense of purpose. Being happy and content in your workplace makes for a healthy mental state.
Learning to identify when you are stressed is important so that you can avoid or manage stressful situations which will help you to stay well mentally.
Eating healthy, exercising regularly, getting good quality sleep are all ways to keep mentally well.
- Go for a bike ride
- Work out at the gym
- Go for a walk
- Do Yoga or Pilates
- Play a round of golf
Stimulate the brain by:
- Doing a crossword
- Reading a book
- Visit a museum or art gallery
- Take a wander through a market
- Visit a friend
- Do some gardening
- Get a massage
Getting enough sleep is crucial to good quality of life, for dealing with men’s mental health issues try these tips:
- Avoid using electronic equipment just before going to bed
- No TV in the bedroom is recommended for good sleeping habits
- Reduce the amount of caffeine or alcohol you consume
- Try to stick to regular sleep patterns, even on the weekends
- Courage is contagious and talking about mental health helps to change negative attitudes and stereotypes
Help is available for every type of mental health illness so don’t be afraid to speak out and seek help. Just remember that your health is something you need to look after.