Due to a number of factors including social norms, upbringing and the role models we are presented with, some men’s mental health issues have gone unrecognised for a long time. Through common phrases we hear like ‘chin up’, ‘pull your socks up’ and the like, we’ve been taught that many ‘head issues’ are nothing to worry about and should be dismissed. There is a growing recognition that mental health concerns are in fact serious issues and the culture of dismissal is a dangerous approach, but many men are still not aware of some of the most common indicators that there’s a problem that should be dealt with before it grows into something bigger. So how can you tell if you have an issue that you should consider seeking help with?
Some of the most common men’s mental health issues include:
Many of us have been there, but few recognise just how serious isolation and loneliness can be. Now more commonly referred to as ‘social isolation’, loneliness in its more severe forms is now seen as a contributor to many social ills including violence, suicide and substance abuse.
It’s chiefly a feeling of sadness about being alone, but can also happen when you’re surrounded by people – its primarily a feeling of lack of connection to the world around you, like you don’t belong and no-one understands you. Learn more about loneliness and its effects here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/basics/loneliness
Stress is a feeling of being under pressure and overwhelmed. Stress is experienced when there is an imbalance between what’s being asked of us and our ability to deliver or cope with the demands. This causes discomfort and distress and can lead to other men’s mental health problems including anxiety and depression. Although most commonly associated with working life, stress can be triggered by any number of situations including at home, social situations and on the sporting field.
In manageable doses, stress can be a good thing as it can play a key role in driving us to achieve our goals. Problems arise when someone feels unable to meet expectations and their coping abilities to deal with the pressure are challenged.
Stress can take many forms – find out more here:
Depression is an intense feeling of sadness that lasts for a long time, sometimes weeks, months or years. These feelings can interfere with daily life, wellbeing and physical health. You can find out more about depression here:
The most common men’s mental health issue in Australia, anxiety is a consistent state of extreme worry or fear about perceived threats, that is usually out of proportion to the reality of the situation. Anxiety is ongoing and can happen without any particular reason or cause.
Although many people tend to dismiss anxiety as just being worried or nervous, it is a serious condition and can be a crippling experience that gets in the way of living our lives. It can have major impact on both mental and physical health.
You can find out more about anxiety here:
The good news about men’s mental health
Most common men’s mental health issues can be successfully treated and there’s heaps of great information out there about different strategies and techniques that can help. Everyone struggles at times – the key is to reach out for help as early as possible to increase the chances of a faster recovery. It often helps to have a chat with a mate or a family member, but there’s also the option to speak with a professional if you think you need more specific help
Get in touch
MensLine Australia has a team of qualified counsellors who are experienced in dealing with men’s mental health issues. Our service is free and available 24/7 from anywhere in Australia – all you need is a phone or a computer.
If you need to talk to someone, give one of our MensLine Australia counsellors a call on 1300 78 99 78 or register for online chat.