The Diggn' It Guide to Men's Mental Health
The stated goal of Movember is to “change the face of men’s health” and raise awareness about health issues including prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men’s suicide. Basically you grow out your mustache in November so that people ask why and you let them know what’s up. Given the world today, we decided that a quick guide on men’s mental health is required and necessary. Know beforehand, it’s positive and good to seek help if/when needed.
Everyone has ups and downs. We all experience feelings of sadness, anger and hopelessness at times. But if these feelings won’t go away or get strong enough that they make it difficult for you to function normally, this could be a sign of a mental illness. 5 major mental health problems affecting men are: depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, psychosis and schizophrenia and eating disorders. If you’re doing what you can but still feel like you’re struggling, it could be time to seek professional support. Most mental illnesses are effectively treated or managed, so don’t worry and seek help.
This is super important because there are barriers to men seeking help that are tied to traditionally masculine traits - these barriers are both real and artificial and include:
- Social Norms/culture
- Reluctance to talk
- Not recognizing or downplaying symptoms
Honestly, none of the above reasons should prevent men from seeking treatment and trying to get better. Social norms are constantly changing and being updated, science is showing us that just talking about problems helps us feel better, and the whole point of growing a mustache in November is so that men will recognize symptoms, be more aware and be ready to talk. The hyper-machismo era where “men were men” is over. A more nuanced and understanding one has taken over. In this era of masculinity, it is ok to fear, to feel and to speak.
If kept unchecked, mental health issues can create several other issues in a man’s life. Relationship problems, physical illness, social isolation, and the use of toxic substances are a few of the hazards of not getting treated.
So, apart from speaking to a doctor, what can you do? Firstly, get up, get active and get positive! Optimism and positive thinking can greatly impact your mood, energy and aura. The same can be said of diet and sleep - eat well and rest up. Doing both consistently helps develop routine. Finally, exercise regularly, spend time with friends and family, and do activities you enjoy. Most importantly, walk out your front door living your vibe!