Depression, Anxiety and other Mental Health conditions is something I try my upmost help raise Awareness, especially for Men and fellow Dads who may struggle. You may have read previous posts where I open up about my own struggles.
With World Suicide Prevention Day today I really wanted to share these tips of what to look out for with someone suffering from depression, or another mental health conditions that Dr Earim Chaudy, Medical Director of men’s health platform Manual has provided.
World Suicide Prevention Day.
Suicide is the biggest single killer of men under 45, and males are three times more likely to commit suicide than women, according to ONS data.
In 2019, the year before the Covid-19 pandemic, suicide in the UK was the highest rate since the year 2000, with 5,691 suicides recorded.
Depression is also at an all-time high since the pandemic began, with almost one in five (19.2%) UK adults experiencing some form of depression during the coronavirus, doubling from around 1 in 10 (9.7%) before the pandemic.
What to Look for if someone is suffering with Depression and Other Mental Health Conditions.
- Becoming withdrawn
Withdrawal is a strong indicator that someone could be depressed. People suffering from depression can lose interest in things that once excited them, and avoid friends and family, choosing to be alone. You might find it more difficult to get hold of them as they could be avoiding texts, phone calls, social occasions.
If you notice a friend, family member or work colleague becoming withdrawn, offer your support. Ask them if they want to talk, or even send a text or phone call to let them know that you are there for them.
- Changes in personality
Someone suffering from depression may not be acting like themselves. This can be through their actions or behaviours, such as cancelling plans, or having little interest in doing things they used to enjoy. Their speech and communication may also change – you might notice they are speaking quicker or more slowly than usual, finding it difficult to focus on everyday tasks.
They might also become moody, or more easily irritated. Make sure to take notice of their personality changes, and offer a support system if you think they’re struggling.
- Self-destructive behaviour
Sometimes people with depression can become reckless because they might no longer value their life. This can include reckless driving, abusing drugs or alcohol, engaging in unsafe sex, and not eating a proper diet.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to raise your concerns with the person as they might be in need of support. If you think their life could be in serious danger, make sure to get emergency help by calling 999.
- Changes in sleeping patterns
If you notice someone suffering from insomnia, this could be a sign of depression. Those who struggle to sleep can sometimes have problems switching off, staying up for hours and then feeling fatigued the next day. On the other hand, the person might be oversleeping, they might stay in bed throughout the day and not leave.
If you notice these kinds of changes, ask them if there’s any reason this might be happening and offer support – you can even suggest them to visit their GP to seek professional help.
- Threatening or talking about suicide
Many people who think about suicide will often give a warning sign before they do so. This could be in the form of a joke, or even a threat. Whilst not everyone who talks about suicide will follow through with it, it’s important to question it. Every threat of suicide must be taken seriously.
If a notice threats from a friend or family member regarding suicide, make sure you question them, even if you think they are joking.
Further signs someone could be suicidal:
- Feeling guilt or shame
- Giving away personal items or belongings
- Saying goodbye to people
- Looking for ways to harm themselves or others
- Feeling like a burden to others
- Extreme mood swings
If you would require more information on men’s health, please visit Manual or get in touch.
For those men and fathers out there who are not feeling themselves, remember it is ok to talk to others about it, one other thing which I do myself when I begin to feel low and really not myself is Self Care. Certain things I do to chill out in a way, something I enjoy and a way I can spend some me time.
I have mentioned in previous posts regarding my mental health that I am an avid member and supporter of the Dadvengers Community. Such a great bunch of everyday Dads, Mums, aunts, uncles just like you and me and I wanted to share with you this post from the Dadvengers website. A member of the community has written such a heartfelt piece about her own experience which I think will resonate and help others also. Go ahead and have a read of Emma’s post – A Letter To a Dad Contemplating Suicide – You Are Loved More Than You Know.