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How many men stop to think about how they are feeling?

International Men’s Day and Movember serve as annual reminders of the importance of discussing men’s mental health. Mental illness can happen to anyone, and often has a serious and devastating impact. For any man who is struggling, it is incredibly important to take good care of yourself, talk and reach out for support.

By sharing your experiences and getting the right professional treatment, you can get back on track and live a healthier life once again.

Why do men strive to be the ‘perfect man’

Many men feel the pressure to be ‘the perfect man’. They believe that they need to be the provider of the household, strong, masculine, in control and unemotional.

Trying to live up to this idea can lead to men experiencing stress, anxiety and other associated mental health conditions. There needs to be a shift in breaking down such gender stereotypes, encouraging people to see beyond them and help men to look after their mental health.

So, what steps can men take to keep check of their mental health? Here are five questions to ask yourself to manage your mental health.

Five mental health checks for men

  1. Have you stopped getting enjoyment from activities you’ve always liked to do? And, have you stopped doing the things you were interested in such as playing football, dating and socialising with friends?
  2. Are you avoiding social situations? Are you spending more time on your own and not wanting to see friends or family? Are you less talkative than usual?
  3. Are you finding it difficult to concentrate? Have you been struggling to pay full attention to a book or a film? Are you able to keep up with conversations at work and finish tasks to the end?
  4. Are you avoiding exercising? And, are you struggling to get motivated?
  5. Are you feeling more irritable and short tempered? Have you been finding that the littlest of things are starting to make you angry and lose your temper?

Don’t suffer in silence

If you have found that you can relate to the above questions, don’t keep your thoughts and feelings to yourself. It is ok not to be ok, but remember that you don’t need to suffer in silence – you are not alone. The idea that men should keep their emotions hidden has been embedded into society for generations, but is something that can be incredibly damaging to men’s wellbeing.

Start off by talking and confiding in one person. This can be a family member, close friend, partner or therapist. We understand that for many people dealing with mental illness, this can be a hard step to take. But, it is such an important one that can lead to getting better and living a more balanced life.

How to take steps to improve your mental health

  • Awareness - Identify what it is stopping you from reaching out. Is it the fear of admitting you need help, or are you worried about talking to someone? Try telling yourself that it isn’t weak to admit you need help; in fact, it’s the bravest thing you can do
  • Talk - Find someone you can talk to who you trust. This could be a family member, close friend or even your doctor
  • Research - Find out more information about different mental health conditions to try to understand more about the symptoms you are experiencing. You can find out about various different mental health conditions here
  • Encouragement - Start looking at different stories about men who have dealt with mental health conditions and have taken steps to get help. There are many stories to read online. These will help you to recognise that you are not alone in this
  • Seek professional help - It is recommended that you seek professional help so that you are able to get access to the most effective support for you

For more information about the mental health support offered at Priory Wellbeing Centre in Dubai, you can call us on: (+971) 4 245 3800 or send an enquiry online. More information about the treatment we offer can be found here.

Tanya Dharamshi, Counsellor

This page was clinically reviewed by Tanya Dharamshi (BSW, MSc Psych, Counsellor, DHCC, UAE) in March 2019, and is scheduled to be reviewed again in March 2021. Tanya brings 18+ years of counselling experience in trauma, crisis intervention, child abuse, substance addiction, attachment disorder, depression, anxiety, stress, bereavement, couples therapy, mood disorders, chronic illness and adjustment disorder. View Tanya's full profile here.