Men have a harder time maintaining a mental health balance than women and it is fast becoming a serious issue. Thus, with Mental Health Awareness Week back again, here are five do’s and don’ts to maintain your mental well being:
1. Do: Watch out for booze
It’s a nice gesture to take a friend who’s battling mental instability out for drinks, just to talk and unwind but be aware that alcohol misuse and psychological problems go hand in hand and young men are more likely to drink recklessly, so there’s need to be careful.
2. Don’t: Procrastinate
Usually, those going through psychological problems often feel abandoned and find it hard to communicate. This is made worse by people often feeling uncomfortable discussing the subject of mental illness or worrying that they’ll say something wrong, and so instead opting to be quiet. Even if you think you’ll get it wrong, just say something.
3. Do: Watch Your Language
A lot of people who feel suicidal are quite sensitive to failure or criticism and find it hard to tell others how they’re feeling, so don’t tell people to snap out of it, laughing at their situation, belittling the condition or telling them they’ve let people down. On the other side, there’s plenty of practical things you can say to a friend who’s struggling, like offer to go with them to the doctor or any other appointments; check that they’ve remembered to take any medication; ask them what they need help with; let them know that you’re there for them whenever they need it.
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4. Don’t: Fear the Doctor
Less men with problems tend to seek medical help. Most men have an unwillingness to open up to a stranger, and are afraid that admitting to a problem makes it more real. However, talking to a good doctor is a crucial part of the battle against mental illness:
5. Do: Be vigilant
Some things we dismiss as general flakiness among friends may be a sign of something more serious. Some people will go to any length to hide their condition, because they don’t want others to see their weakness and fear that they will be misunderstood. However, you can watch out for these seven signs: people disappearing; changing their eating habits; physical symptoms like nausea or headaches; a loss of focus; disrupted sleep; a change in appearance; a need for excessive reassurance.
Please if you are or know anyone who is going through these symptoms, try your best to reach out for help because that is where the healing begins.