It’s Good to Talk – Even if You Are a Man!
Did you know that the biggest killer of men under the age of 45 is suicide? Not cancer or road traffic accidents or any physical illness. No, suicide. I know, shocking isn’t it? And did you know that 76% of all suicides are male?
As I women I feel a bit ashamed of these statistics – how come we seem to be getting it so right more of the time? What is it that we are doing that seems to make us more immune to this terrible killer? And why can’t we help our men to do the same?
Interestingly the figures show us that women are more likely to suffer from the more common mental health issues like anxiety and depression and are more likely to get a diagnosis. So why is it the suicide figures are so high for men?
One of the most obvious differences between how men and women look after their mental health is just that – we women are more likely to actively look after our mental health. Perhaps riding the ups and downs of moods with our hormones makes it easier for us to recognise the changes in our mood and what impacts it? The statistics are interesting as they can only be based on issues that are reported and women are more likely to seek help and get a diagnosis than men. So maybe they aren’t suffering more than men from mental health issues – men just aren’t reporting their struggles.
And here we find another one of our differences – women talk about how they feel. It is acceptable to talk about their feelings, to share the ups and the downs, to reach out to those around them for support. It is just such a natural part of being female that we often don’t realise that it is, literally saving our lives!
Women are also more accustomed to seeking help from medical professionals. As young women we have to start seeing GPs even when there is nothing wrong for regular smear tests, contraceptive pill checks etc whereas the first time men are called in for a check is for their Well Man Check in their 40s and they are told this is only needed every 5 years. So going to the doctors for women is just part of every day life. For men it’s a big deal.
And much as we’d like to think men and women are equal on all fronts we are biologically driven to behave in different ways – the hormones that flood through our systems dictate that. Women are more caring and nurturing – it’s our evolutionary role! Men are more, well, manly, stronger, because evolution requires it to be that way. We can’t get away from these differences and from an evolutionary point of view a man that shows any sign of weakness is not going to survive too long in the hustle and bustle of a busy tribe.
So it is a combination of cultural, biological and social differences that impact on how we deal and cope with mental health issues that lie behind these terrible statistics.
So what can we do to change that?
In recent years there have been a number of campaigns aimed at encouraging men to talk –Man Down and Be In Your Mate’s Corner and these have started to change perceptions and, hopefully lead to more men seeking help.
At Inspired to Change many of our clients are male which is great news – these are the men who know they need help and have gone out of their way to seek it. But if we’re going to change those statistics we need to do something to reach out to those who don’t feel they can do that.
So we have got behind the CALM campaign – Campaign Against Living Miserably. Founder of Inspired to Change and Peterborough Associate, Gary Johannes literally got on his bike to raise awareness! Gary rode 500km through the Golden Triangle area of India in February 2018 to help raise funds for this vital campaign.
If you’re struggling with your mental health find someone to talk to. Call the CALM helpline on 0800 58 58 58 or talk online through their webchat.
If you’re ready to get the help maybe it’s time to book your FREE initial consultation with your local Inspired to Change hypnotherapist. Inspired to Change Hypnotherapists are based across the UK in Peterborough, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, Devon and Kent.
Inspired to Change Hypnotherapists are all recognised by the National Council for Hypnotherapy, the UK’s leading not-for-profit hypnotherapy professional association.
To find out how you can train as a solution focused hypnotherapist click here for our hypnotherapy school information