Man-to-Man Let’s Talk About Your Mental Health.
Mental Health amongst men is a topic that remains taboo in many communities.
Many communities continue to perpetuate the myth and stigma that “Men should be strong and invincible.” ignoring this stigma around surrounding men and their mental health then stops many men from openly express and seeking help when they need it most. The South African Depression and Anxiety Group conducted a survey and found that many South African men still feel that it is “unmanly” to admit to weakness or vulnerability or even seek psychological help.
According to a report by the World Health Organisation(WHO), Men in South Africa are more than four times more likely to commit suicide than women and due to social pressures and expectations of men, they are less likely to admit to their troubling emotions and would rather resort to self-medicating with illicit drugs and alcohol in order to treat an underlying depression, anxiety or personality disorder.
So how can you pick up the warning signs of a depressed man who needs help, and what can you do as a family member, partner, or friend.
According to Medical News Today, you can look out for thefollowing behavioural changes:
- Drinking more or taking drugs
- Avoiding family or social situations
- Working obsessively without taking proper breaks
- Finding it hard to keep up with work or family responsibilities
- Becoming more controlling or abusive in relationships
- Engaging in risk-taking behaviour, such as gambling or unsafe sex
- Attempting suicide
How to help:
- Keep in contact with them
- Take them out to social gatherings
- Suggest they keep a pet/ take up a hobby they will enjoy
- Suggest they take up exercising as it has been proven that exercise releases endorphins, which improves one’s mood.
Remember it’s ok not to feel ok as a male, and asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
Dates to Remember
Men’s Health Month
National COPD Awareness Month
14 November – World Diabetes Day
6 – 13 November – SADC Malaria Week
25 Nov to 11 Dec – 16 Days of Activism Against Domestic Violence