You are not alone in this.
CW:talks of mental health and mental health illnesses
What is mental health? And what are some examples?
CW: Depression, PTSD, Self Harm, suicide
Someone says mental health. And we all think depression, some think weak, others wouldn't care unless they know you. For some people mental health is now a permanent part of their lives. There are many different types of mental health/illness. Some of which can be seen through physical means, others of which aren’t visible.
PTSD or Post traumatic stress disorder, have to live with flashbacks, nightmares, difficulty sleeping and being anxious. PTSD is not only for those who've fought in a war, but have had something traumatic happen to them they subconsciously create a fear.
Depression. Takes the brunt of many jokes I've found. Being someone who uses discord (Gaming/social platform) too much, I have seen enough jokes or negativity towards those with depression. However depression is much more than feeling sad. Depression can affect day to day working, and can last from weeks to months to being a daily occurrence.
Self harm, again is another mental illness that takes many jokes. I know what some are thinking. Self harm isn't a mental illness. Self harm is however the by-product of mental illness. Those who self harm, are doing it to escape reality, feel numb, or make invisible thoughts into a feeling of pain.
CW: Suicide, Sexual assult, self harm, depression.
Most people think about mental health and don’t include men in this thought. Society has grown up thinking men should be the strong, stable support, while women should be weak, and needing someone to look after themselves. Times have changed, however men’s mental health stigma has always been hardpress to talk about. 40% of men from 1,000 said that they have never talked about their mental health before, that’s 400 men in total, who have never spoken about their mental health
Unfortunately this statistic also coincides with men taking their own lives. In 2020 there were 5,224 suicides which has been regisered. Out of those 5,224, were 3,925 suicide related deaths from men being regisered in 2020. That’s 71.1% Women are more likely to be diagnosed, as men are not wishing to seek help due to wishing to be seen as strong.
Traditionally, men have been less likely to seek support for mental health issues. This is probably for a number of reasons including stigma and the traditional ‘strong male’ stereotype still prevalent in our society – the idea that expressing emotion is a sign of weakness.
1 in 5 women are likely to have mental health related problems, and over 26% of young women ages between 16-24 years old report having a given mental health problem every week. Women like men will have their own problems which can lead to mental health problems. Such as losing a baby, infidelity, postnatal depression. Women can also suffer from mental health problems if they have been in an abusive relationship, with either men or women, or have suffered through any form of abuse. 53% of women who suffer from abuse, have also reported signs of mental health problems, such as depression, PTSD, or sexual assult/violence. These causes of the mental health problems, also can result in an increase of self harm and suicide
Breaking through the stigma and where to find help
Everyone has good days, bad days and inbetween days. However, we need to stop letting men think that they cannot ask for help. That is seen as weak and non masculine to have a mental health problem. Many feel that stigma of mental health leads to discrimination. This discimination could be visual and much more subtle. Although, the worst discrimination that can happen if from yourself. People believe them to be useless, weak, unstable and start to retreat into themselves.
Reluctance to seek help or treatment Lack of understanding by family, friends, co-workers or others Fewer opportunities for work, school or social activities or trouble finding housing
It is important to have a circle of those who you trust impeccably and can talk to. However this might not always happen to begin with. Some friends and family might be concerned for you and act in a different way. Show and tell them that you're still the same person, who does not let your mental health affect you. By showing articles, or information about mental health and the correct type you have can go a long way to helping them understand.
It is also important for those who are helping someone to be mindful and be patient towards someone with mental health problems. As you might not know what they are specifically going through, but even having a small understanding is more than enough. Reassure them that no matter what, you are here for them and will continue to be so.
Even if you have no one around, there are still ways to have a support group to help you through this. The NHS for example has different links and numbers of places to get in touch with people who can help you. Mental Health America also does the same thing but for those in America and not the UK. Each country will also have a designated number to call for getting mental health help. Please do seek these out as they are trained to help with this.
Remember, you are not alone.