Okay, boys, let's be honest when it comes to talking about how we feel, we're pretty crap.
We all get points in life where we feel a bit down, pissed off, lonely and depressed - it's literally part of life because things can't always go right. However, talking about things can make such a difference.
Depression in men has been a hot topic lately and it's so good to see it being talked about. I myself had a period of time when I left college where I felt so lost, I didn't know what I wanted to do and looking back, I definitely had very mild depression for a short while, something which once I spoke about how I was feeling with my family, went away pretty fast after I got some fresh perspective. Don't go thinking there's any shame in admitting to feeling depressed, 12.5% of men in the U.K. suffer from a common mental health disorder. There are so many ways to get yourself out of your slump, we NEED to learn to talk about it openly - chat to the lads about it, your partner and family. If you're going through a rough time don't try and just deal with it in your head, you'll end up trapped in your mind and your perspective will start to get blurred, that's when a downward spiral starts. Stats have shown that us boys are much less likely to access psychological therapy than women are - maybe we need to take a leaf out of the girl's book and talk!
You might not be suffering, however one of your mates might - watch out for any signs that they might be going through a rough patch, if they’re usually the life and soul and never miss a night out but start to become a bit of a recluse, reach out and don’t be afraid to talk deep with him - he might just need it! Work can have a huge impact on how you feel - a study by the HSE shows that on average, 191,000 men a year report stress, depression or anxiety has been caused or made worse by work. There’s no shame in telling your boss you’re stressed out - your workplace have a duty of care to you and they can’t afford to ignore your wellbeing.
Anxiety is so common in the 18-30 age group, personally, I think it’s caused by the way we live our lives. So much of it is online now that it makes facing issues without the internet harder. I surveyed Twitter to find out how many guys have suffered with or are currently suffering from anxiety - 87% said they have suffered with anxiety whilst only 13% said they haven't ever suffered with it. Actually being able to admit you have anxiety is good, it means you acknowledge you do have it and that can be the catalyst that’ll push you to take back control and not let it control you.
There are many services out there that can help, whether you need to just offload some stress, or you need some ongoing support, there are some great services worth contacting. It’s so important to talk and deal with any issues rather than keeping them inside your head. Not talking can feel like you’re spiraling out of control, you might not know where to turn and it can be really really dangerous.
A report by the Department of Heath in 2014 shows some really shocking statistics, there were 6,122 suicides in the UK, and of the total number of suicides, 76% were males. Both of those numbers are far too high and like I keep saying there are some fantastic support groups that can help if this is where your thoughts are. Talking sooner rather than later will help to drive these numbers down, that one issue that you think is ruining your life could be really simple to sort with the right help.
Ultimately, lads, we NEED to just get better and talking about how we feel. You won't feel emasculated, you won’t be looked down on…it might seem silly after you’ve talked about it, but never feel worried to talk to your mates, family, friends or support groups. Keeping an active and healthy lifestyle will help to keep your head clear...and try not to let little things stress you out, even though it can be tricky at times!