Mental Wellness

Mental Healthcare for Men

DayToDay Health
November 17, 2021

Mental health conditions do not discriminate. People of all genders can experience these conditions. Men, compared to women, are three times more likely to die with suicide, according to World Health Organization (WHO) report from 2018.

Why is it more difficult for men to reach out and access support? In many cultures, there are dominant cultural stereotypes around how men. They talk about how men should behave, feel or express their emotions. These gender stereotypes and stigma make it harder to recognize distress signs and provide support. In fact, for men and women, specialists believe that warning signs change.

Signs to watch out for

NIMH specialists explain that “Some men with depression hide their emotions and may seem to be angry, irritable, or aggressive, while many women seem sad or express sadness.” They also note that some symptoms of depression are physiological, such as a racing heart, digestive issues, or headaches, and men “are more likely to see their doctor about physical symptoms than emotional symptoms,” according to the NIMH.

Watch out for these symptoms as well :

  • changes in appetite and energy
  • new aches and pains
  • digestive issues
  • trouble sleeping or sleeping more than usual
  • anger and aggressiveness
  • irritability
  • frustration
  • substance misuse
  • trouble concentrating
  • persistent feelings of worry
  • engagement in high-risk activities
  • unusual behavior that concerns others or gets in the way of daily life
  • thoughts of suicide

Coping with mental health symptoms

Like the sky, our inner mind can have its various seasons. The inner sky can seem bleak and dull while some days radiate with the warmth of the sun. Some days may be humid, muggy, and while some pleasant with a cool breeze welcoming us. In these trials and tribulations, how can we maintain consistency?

  1. Name your inner sky - Start where you are by naming what you are experiencing at the moment. What is the weather inside? What is its intensity?
  2. 90- second rule - Any emotion that we feel has a physiological reaction for 90 seconds. Post that, through our thoughts, we intensify our emotions.
  3. Anchor yourself - During the stormy wind, a ship can stay afloat with its anchor. Develop your anchor. It could mean re-reading a book that gives you hope, speaking to someone, taking some time off to spend with yourself.  
  4. Decide - Determine to take the simplest step forward in your journey to keep floating. Do you want to steer your ship towards the left or the right?
  5. Pause - To ensure that you are on the right path, devote a few minutes every day to check with yourself. Jot down what your learning was about your behavior, thoughts, feelings in a non-judgemental manner.
  6. Continue - Scaling the peak requires perseverance. Connect, speak, take help - all signs of fortitude and strength.
  7. Talk with your doctor - If you already regularly see a healthcare professional, they can be a good starting point. Depending on their background, they’ll likely refer you to someone who specializes in mental health, like a psychiatrist or psychologist.

We are wired for connection, biologically. Living life with a clear heart requires us to look within and work our way outwards from there. The choice to observe and live life from a place of curiosity, hope, wisdom, courage is a choice in our power. There are no bad parts to us!

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Alexis den Boggende
Alexis den Boggende
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Olivia Casale
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Danny Biel
Danny Biel
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