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Men and Mental Illness: Why You Should Ask for Help

Mental health is an important issue - and while you might not realise it, understanding issues like depression and anxiety is especially vital for men. Sadly, suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 35. Not heart disease, not even cancer. In total, more than three out of four suicides in the UK are made by men.

Of course, we shouldn’t only focus on the most extreme side of mental health. Well over 10% (12.5%) of men in the UK are suffering from one of the common mental health disorders — which include depression, anxiety, stress, bipolar disorder, OCD, eating disorders, dysmorphia, anger, borderline personality disorder and loneliness.

As men are statistically less likely to visit a health professional about their mood, feelings or with specific questions about their mental health, it means they are more likely to use unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with how they feel. Men are consequently nearly three times more likely than women to become alcohol dependent, and are more likely to use illegal drugs.

Societal Pressures and Men's Mental Health

For many men, the idea of being seen as physically or mentally 'weak' is enough to stop them from seeking the help they need.

Mental health is as important as physical health. Where most people would think nothing of starting a regular exercise regime to improve their physical health, it’s not as common for meditation, talking therapies or rest to be incorporated into our everyday lives. Men are even less likely to take care of their mental health, seeing it as something they can 'get over' by themselves.

The issue of not wanting to talk can also develop into loneliness, which comes with its own negative effects. Some research also suggests that men who feel as though they are unable to speak openly about emotions may be less able to recognise symptoms of mental health problems in themselves, and less likely to reach out for support.

How Talking Can Help

Asking someone for help can seem like an impossible task. According to Mind, the mental health charity, there are some simple actions men can take to help them ask for help.

  • Talk to someone you trust first. It might be easier to talk to a close friend or family member before you can begin to consider seeking professional help.
  • Consider why you find it uncomfortable asking for help and whether those reasons are actually stopping you from getting the support you need. If you can isolate those issues, you’re one step closer to overcoming them.

What else can I do?

Read more about mental health. The more you can find out about mental health, and especially about men’s mental health, the more comfortable you will feel approaching the subject and realise that mental health is just like taking care of your physical health. Find more information about men's mental health via the following links:

Think about what makes you feel happy, together, calm or at ease. It could be exercise, or it could be rest. It could even be pursuing a new creative or artistic hobby. Whatever it is, it could help you to address your mental health and make you feel strong enough to seek help.


The most important thing you can do is recognise that you are feeling something unlike your usual state of mind, and that you are not alone. There are people out there who can help you.

If you currently feel that you need to speak to someone about your mental health, call the Samaritans day or night, for free, on 116 123.

Until next time...

Disclaimer: If you are allergic to any of the ingredients listed in the products mentioned, do not consume them. Always check with your doctor before trying a new medication or regime, and if irritation or allergy occurs stop using the product or medication immediately.

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