Some men don’t seek help.
Especially for mental health issues.
As a GP, I know this all too well. One of the hardest things of the job is being involved with the aftermath of a male suicide.
Men who were technically under my care, but whom I barely knew.
Men who felt it was easier to end their lives than to seek help. Sadly, suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45.
Whilst this is upsetting, there’s a much bigger group of men who are miserable who also just don’t seek help.
They just ignore the problem and carry on. They’re at work. They don’t have time. They’re busy leading their lives.
But also, they’ve gotten used to feeling miserable, struggling through life.
What is an emotion?
Men are allowed to express emotion in certain situations, like if their team wins in the last minute, or perhaps anger if things don’t go their way. It’s out and gone in a few seconds.
But what about other things, an all-pervading sadness or worry? What happens then? Where does that go? Are we even allowed to show this?
I know men can be embarrassed, or ashamed to admit that something is not right.
I think also a lot of men just don’t understand themselves, just as I did. Who they are. Why they feel like they feel. What their emotions even are.
If you don’t understand, how are you going to explain what the problem even is? How can you then being to change things to make things better?
Why don’t you see the doctor?
This conversation occurs daily up and down the country. People who care about people like you know something isn’t right.
Some men are just very uncomfortable talking about how they feel, even with those they’re closest to.
Sometimes they even make it to the GP. They’re often there, ‘dragged in’ with their partner. Usually they’re ‘not themselves’, angry, withdrawn, or even both.
What’s the doctor going to do?
Some men don’t want what the GP can offer. The GP is busy. They don’t have time to to understand the issues involved, help you understand and explain how you feel.
They don’t have enough understanding themselves about what is wrong, what can be done about it, and how to support you to get better.
Antidepressants are often prescribed. But lots of men don’t want to be on them. They have read themselves that they don’t suit or help that many people, have side effects like loss of sex drive and can give very difficult withdrawl effects lasting months.
What’s the point in talking about it?
You might be asked to use talking therapies. ‘What good will talking do?’ I often hear.
Like they were told when they were little, Boys don’t cry.
Why not try another way. Men need help to Know themselves; Learn about the problems and themselves; Change things in ways that are acceptable and helpful to them, so they can Live their lives.