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MEN'S MENTAL HEALTH

Recently there has been a greater focus on the negative impact of the traditional social narratives that ‘boys don’t cry’ and that showing emotions is a 'sign of weakness’. Men are often expected to be the breadwinners and to be strong, dominant and in control. While these aren’t inherently bad things the increasing pressures to adhere to masculine ‘ideals can reportedly make it hard for men to be open about when they feel they are struggling or to seek help.

 

Psychologically we acknowledge that there are differences in how men process emotions and stereotypically men appear to want to be 'fixers' rather than talkers and men often report feeling that they need to ‘fix their own mental health’.  

 

Statistically we know that -

 

  • Men are three times more likely than women to die by suicide

  • Men aged 40 to 49 have the highest suicide rates in the UK

  • Men are less likely to access psychological therapies than women

  • Men are far more likely than women to go missing, sleep rough or end up homeless

  • Men are far more likely than women to become dependent on alcohol

  • Men are far more likely than women to use drugs frequently

As men often don’t focus on their emotions, or they might even try very hard to control them, it can be hard for them to know when they might be experiencing mental illness, or when they could benefit from seeking help.  Firstly, remember talking to a psychologist doesn’t have to wait until you feel unwell, in fact it can help you stay well in the first place, but if you notice the following it might be worth talking to a mental health professional.

 

  • Become irritable perhaps quickly and to small things and not being able to ‘shake it off’

  • Sudden anger and increased levels of anger

  • Increased loss of control or increased risk-taking such as sexually or with drugs and alcohol

  • Lack of excitement in things you are usually excited about – football, dating, going out

  • Reduced social interactions / increased social interactions – have you stopped wanting to go out or do you want to go out more and more

  • Are you finding it hard to motivate yourself – struggling to go to the gym etc

  • Are you finding it hard to concentrate / remember – struggling at work or to watch tv

  • Struggling with libido or sexual performance

  • Noticing self-critical thoughts or thoughts that others are thinking badly of you

 

My service is confidential, and I offer a non-judgemental environment so that we can talk about your concerns and any difficulties you might be experiencing.  Together we can formulate what might be happening for you and utilise a variety of therapies, including solution focussed modalities which some men have reported finding it easier to engage with.

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