Mental Health – Men and Fathers.
Mental Health in men is a thing and it is a lot more common than you may think. I myself struggle with my mental health. I want to share with you all to share men’s mental health awareness. The mental health struggles for us men and dad’s.
To some I may look like a normal every day guy. A Dad you would see playing with his kids at the park. A bloke going about his day. You wouldn’t think looking at me that I suffer with my own mental health. That I am depressed. That I am that anxious about being out in public that I want to disappear and shut myself away out of fear of being judged.
The tolls of life.
Life in general is hard and difficult. Even more so when you have children. Being a father or mother or even a carer is one of the most challenging jobs we will have. Maybe the most challenging but certainly the most rewarding.
Family life does take a massive toll. It is stressful and hard work. Without proper self care we can risk an effect on our mental health and burnout. We have to look after ourselves not only for us but for our family too. Take a look at this post of mine 5 Self Care Tips for Dad’s.
How my mental health is at the moment.
It’s been hit and miss really. I’ve covered a bit about my own mental health in previous posts regarding Depression and anxiety. I’m not sure why I have not opened up more about it. I think subconsciously I haven’t because of my own anxiousness and negative feelings.
The depression is debilitating and difficult to deal with. It’s a constant feeling of being tired. Absolutely zero motivation to do anything. It feels like your stuck in a place filled with dark skies and fog and you can’t see how you can get out.
This feeling then triggers off my anxiousness. I feel nervous that I’m getting to this point again. I worry about why I have got like this and how am I going to sort myself out and get back on track.
Lockdown has had a massive impact.
I know many parents and people are struggling in lockdown. It’s a very difficult and unnerving situation. Trying to manage day to day life especially for us with 4 children at home. Home Schooling them when we are not teachers is very hard. Each of the kids have their own needs and with a toddler in the mix it makes it a lot more tricky.
I have worried slightly about lockdown and the Coronavirus. Obviously with my partner Sarah being classed as high risk. I have worried about the negatives of what may happen if she was to catch it. What if one of the kids caught it or even me.
It’s very hard times and I think finally after 11 weeks it is taking it’s toll.
Men and fathers
For us men and fathers. We like to think we are the strongest. The rock of a family, the load bairer and problem hoarder. We are stubborn and proud.
So proud and stubborn that sometimes we won’t open up to how we are feeling. We won’t share our problems with others or loved ones in fear of appearing weak. We like to portray ourselves as the stronger ones.
It is ok though to speak up about how you are feeling. Your partner or family members are there to help and support you. To share the load of your problems or struggles. There is no need to struggle on your own. Help is out there for those that want it.
Just a couple of weeks after lockdown began, I started to worry a lot quite frequently and I felt very low. So low I found myself not being able to enjoy the extra time I was having with my children and family.
My low feelings were also emphasised by not seeing my eldest daughter. We have been shielding and locked down which has meant my usual weekend contact with her hasn’t been possible. I miss her a lot, I even wrote a Message to my Daughter which you can read Here. I had a phone consultation with my regular GP and spoke with them how I was feeling.
For the moment I take anti depressants and have been for over a year now. They do help but they are not an instant fix to mental health problems. My usual dose up until before lockdown was 100mg Sertraline. But since speaking with my GP they advised me that I should try a higher dose. Which has now meant I am taking 150mg Sertraline.
It has helped massively, especially while we have been in lockdown. Just the past couple of days upto writing this post have been rough. This post has been a great way to put down how I’m feeling.
Writing down how you are feeling can help. It’s like a release and a way of expressing yourself.
Think of yourself.
One piece of advice I will offer is not to suffer in silence. Seek out help and talk with your loved ones if you are not feeling yourself. Make sure you do certain things for you and to look after yourself.
The worst we can do is let our struggles with mental health get in the way of living and enjoying what is around us.
This page from the NHS mental health Here is incredibly helpful.
The calm Zone is a men’s mental health charity that has lots of useful information to help those who suffer with mental health problems. You can visit The Calm Zone Here
There are many other online sources for help, advice and information regarding Men’s mental health. I will list a few below. Also keep an eye on my Blog Facebook page Yorkie… Not Just For Dad’s. Also my Instagram account as I will be sharing Content relevant to Men’s Mental Health Awareness week – 15th – 21st June 2020.
- Men’s Health Forum – https://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/mhw
- Mental Health Foundation – https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week
- Cumbria, Northumbria and Tyne & Wear NHS Trust – https://www.cntw.nhs.uk/news/mens-health-week-2020-trust-calls-on-men-to-talk-about-their-mental-health/