As with many different things, there are several opinions of men's mental health. Moving forward the blog will be covering one of the most controversial topics regarding men's mental health, being postpartum depression in men. Also, looking at what mental health problems are more common in men. Similar to our previous blog looking at what was more common in women. As well as; signs, symptoms, self-care routines and tips.
Unfortunately, men are often shamed when expressing their emotions or to convey that they are struggling mentally. However, three out of four suicides (76%) are by men. Suicide is the biggest, cause of death for men under 35. Statistics show that 12.5% of men in the UK are struggling with one of the most common mental health disorders. (Mentalhealth.org)
What mental illnesses are more common in men?
Similar to women, there are mental illnesses that men are more prone to, here we will look at what they are. The most common mental illness many men suffer from is anxiety type disorders being; panic disorder, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), GAD (general anxiety disorder), social anxiety and finally, phobias.
While women are still more likely to suffer anxiety, this is the most common diagnosis in men.
Mental illnesses men are more prone to are:
Substance use disorder.
PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
Bipolar Disorder - A personality disorder to be expanded on in a later blog.
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).
ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
Both women and men can suffer from any mental illnesses. Though, these are just mental illnesses that have been highlighted more in men.
Signs and symptoms of mental illnesses
Mental illness can present differently in everyone however, many signs and symptoms are similar. Often signs can be well masked, making it hard to tell if someone is displaying signs that they are mentally struggling.
Signs to look out for:
Inability to sleep/oversleeping.
Extreme mood changes.
Difficulty perceiving reality.
Loss of interest in things they may enjoy.
Drinking and/or substance abuse.
Becoming more controlling.
Overworking and poor self-care.
Again, It is important to remember that how we display mental illnesses are always different.
Men and postpartum depression
Now, moving on to men and postpartum depression, as many may be aware, this is a very controversial topic. Most are not aware that men can suffer postpartum depression too. Although, one in ten dads suffer from postpartum depression. Signs and symptoms of postpartum depression are very similar to the signs stated above. As with many things, different factors can contribute to men having postpartum depression.
Some of these are things like;
Family history of mental illness.
Not being in a relationship with the child's mother.
Many mums may feel it is unfair and unrealistic for men to suffer after they have carried a baby and their bodies have had a traumatic experience. This topic will be covered in much further detail in a later blog, as there is so much more to be said.
How does mental health affect men?
Mental health affects every person differently, so the impact will always vary. Unfortunately, men are less likely to access psychological therapies than women: only 36% of referrals to NHS talking therapies are for men. Men are nearly three times more likely than women to become alcohol dependent (8.7% of men are alcohol dependent compared to 3.3% of women). Often, men tend to react in ways that can present as risk-taking, increased loss of control or requesting more control, sudden anger and irritability.
Sadly, more often than not, men suffer in silence with their mental health. They are often told to “man up” with their emotions, leaving them feeling ashamed about their feelings. Resulting, in them often using unhealthy coping mechanisms such as;
To cope with their mental health rather than talking about their emotions.
Self-care tips for men's mental health
As individuals, we often feel critical of ourselves for needing further support. It is important to understand this is nothing to be shameful of. We should also remember that there are ways in which we can help ourselves. Things that we can do to help ourselves are:
Maintaining a well-structured routine and diet
Keeping a journal
Seeing friends within a positive environment
Practising positive talk and affirmations
Self-care is different for everyone and will often try many different things before finding what works best for you. While always keeping in mind the more you stay on top of self-care the easier and more positivity it brings to your life.
It is critical to understand that reaching out for further help if needed is a positive step and definitely nothing to feel ashamed about. Men's mental health is often ignored and overlooked. Hopefully, this blog has highlighted the importance of men's mental health. Moving on in a further blog, we will cover both Postnatal depression in men and personality disorders in more detail.
If you would like to expand your understanding and knowledge of mental health, the signs, triggers and help available, we provide Mental Health First Aid courses. This certifies you as a Mental Health First Aider, certified under Mental health First Aid England.
We also offer Menopause in the workplace courses.
For more information email: email@example.com.