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Depression doesn’t discriminate. And it’s not something that just goes away once you’ve been told, as I was, to ‘toughen up’ and get on with life.”- Graeme Holdsworth

Some days, life decides to level up and get a little bit harder. Money problems, breakdown of a relationship, work problems, the list goes on.

How you deal with these problems can have a wide ranging impact on your health.

Statistically, a man dies every minute from suicide. 3 in 4 suicides are men.

Talking about things that are hard are proven ways to help men deal with the everyday shit that life throws at us. Overall wellbeing is linked to a better quality of life and reduces the likelihood of depression and suicide.

Some signs that you’re struggling with mental health are feeling irritable, hopeless or worthless. Physical signs include increased alcohol consumption, aggressiveness or isolation from friends and family.

But how do we deal with this? Men don’t talk about feelings. Well, no. They do. Sometimes simply talking about a problem and getting it out of you is enough to feel better, maybe even solve it. The most manly thing a guy can do is put his hand up and say ‘I’ve got a problem, I need some help’.

A recent study from beyondblue found that the stigma around mental health issues usually only applies to the men themselves, men will often speak positively about friends who are dealing with depression.

‘A conversation can make a difference in helping someone feel less alone and more supported’ explains beyondblue. ‘Don’t underestimate the importance of just ‘being there’.

If you or someone you know isn’t coping, there’s a wide range of things to tackle it head on.

– Spend time with friends, or even animals.
– Get outside. Sunlight and moving can do wonders for the soul.
– Hit the gym. Whether it’s a long run or lifting some heavy weights, endorphins change your thinking patterns.
Do more things that you find enjoyment in.

Untreated mental health conditions can carry a high risk for suicide among men’, explains the US Movember team. ‘The distress a man experiences at these times can distort his thinking so it becomes harder for him to see possible solutions to problems, or to connect with those who can offer support.

If it all seems too much, seek some help.

Aussies, call Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14.

If you’re in the U.S, try The Suicide Prevention Chat Line or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline on 1-800-273-8255

In the UK, call Samaritans on 116 123.

Remember, it’s ok to cry.

ABOUT THE EDITOR

Phil Forbes – The Aussie in Poland. Dinosaur nut, Simpsons quote fiend, post-rock enthusiast with a strange addiction to all things mint. When he grows up he wants to be a dinosaur and/or stormtrooper. Writer at shoplo.com/gb

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