Men – When it’s Good to Talk…


How do you keep sane?

What keeps you going from day to day?

From time to time, we all need a safe space to talk about our issues, problems, concerns or even just to have a good old moan without feeling judged. We need permission from a friend or a stranger to let go of our fears, anxieties and worries. Yet we all know that in general women find it easier to share their story and their pain, than men. Women talk, Men act or go silently into their cave and that’s okay. However, men often suffer from ‘just get on with it you’re a man’ syndrome, unable or incapable of showing weakness, afraid of being hurt, judged or laughed at.  So when sadness, pain, anxiety and emotional conflict leads to depression what are men supposed to do about it?

sad-864399_640According to ‘1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem each year’ ranging from anxiety, depression, OCD, excessive phobias, panic disorder, eating disorder to post traumatic stress disorder. Depression was touched on in the recent return of Cold Feet on TV. Pete at least shared his feelings with his wife and best mate, however they still didn’t know the extent of his depression. He wavered on the edge of a cliff and in one second could have stepped over and gone just like that, when one phone call changed his whole life again. Imagine they would all be saying ‘I didn’t know he was THAT bad’.

The first step is always to recognise that you need help. Some symptoms include, when you constantly feel like you are losing control in areas of your life; slipping into a dark hole; removing yourself from people; feelings of inadequacy; overly emotional, angry, fearful; stressed; overwhelmed; powerlessness and blaming others.

There are many ways which you can help yourself or someone else:

  1. Accept that this is how you are today and ask for help
  2. Talk to someone, anyone from a counsellor, psychotherapist, family member, GP or life coach and ask for support.
  3. Write it down, paint it, draw it, use mindfulness colouring books to colour as you clear your mind – yes even men can do this!
  4. Exercise  –  team sport is great and/or go for a walk outside. It releases endorphins and other ‘natural feel good chemicals’ that improve your mood and make you feel happier.
  5. Contact an agency such as Mind, Time to Change or Samaritans (you don’t have to be suicidal to talk to them and no one needs to know).
  6. Eat well (feed your body & mind with good nutrients to help stay balanced) and drink wisely.
  7. Take a break, whether an hour, a day or a weekend somewhere close to nature.
  8. Start or continue a hobby  –  stay active with something you love doing.
  9. Care for someone or something outside of yourself.
  10. Reaffirm or reconcile yourself with any faith / spirituality issues in your life.
  11. Take a long deep breath when feeling anxious, arms out wide and get more oxygen into your brain to help you think clearer and feel more capable.
  12. Go to a mindfulness class, reiki drop in, book a massage, go to yoga

Whatever you do, please ask for help when you need it, we all need a helping hand sometimes. It is nothing to feel ashamed about, so, start the conversation and know that it IS good to talk.