Anyone can suffer from depression and anxiety, yet men are less likely to reach out for help. And in spite of depression being the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide, men don’t normally talk about it. That’s because men generally put off getting help for health problems, especially when the issue is with mental health. There’s a hidden face in male depression.
I have been suffering with anxiety and depression since my early years. It all started when I was about 10 as my father had been in a major crash on the motorway, I was really upset as the school teachers were not meant to tell me but they did. Following alongside that, I didnt really understand how to cope with emotions because of my mild learning difficulties pulling me down and I started to feel alone and left out due to not having a lot of friends.
A few years later I entered secondary where I tried to surround myself with people who had the same hobbies and interests, as that helped me break the barriers of my anxiety. Soon, my family were happy as I started to change and become less anxious and stressed. They wanted, and still does, want the best for me but during my time in secondary it all went downhill when I hit year 10 as the exams were too much for me. That was a crucial stage for me where I would actually hurt myself because I thought I wasn’t capable of achieving success.
Now at 18, I am just about to become a dad and all the stress and anxiety has hit me like a bullet. I am really fearful and scared that things will go wrong. I am aware that some men are excited about the prospect of being a father and I know that becoming a father is hard in itself anyway, but I have no coping strategies apart from segregating myself away in my bedroom. Indeed, it’s hard because I love being alone as it really gets me thinking on what is going on in my life.
Owing to my experiences, I was prompted to start a small group where I can speak up not just for me but for the community who suffer with such terrible problems like depression and anxiety. I feel that this will give people a platform and could potentially raise awareness that they are not alone.
Recently, I created a YouTube video. Hopefully, I could add more into this and turn it into a space where we can support and listen to each other with absolutely no judgement.
Depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days. Depression causes feelings of sadness, coupled with loss of interest in activities that you once enjoyed. You are also feeling sad or having a depressed mood.Most people go through periods of feeling down, but when you’re depressed you feel persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days. If you’d like to read more on this, the NHS website provides you with a good overview about clinical depression.
On the other hand, anxiety is a feeling of unease and negative apprehension about something that hasn’t happened yet. This can make people imagine that things in their lives are worse than they really are, and can hinder them from confronting their fears. Anxiety UK has a wealth of resources for those who would like to learn more about anxiety.
Depression and anxiety are twin monsters that I have to tackle on a regular basis. Although, I have found a big supportive network that I can go to when I’m anxious or stressed, still nothing ever seems to work. I think to myself daily about things that are negative as I can’t seem to grasp the concept of being happy. But I am grateful that I have a supportive girlfriend who helps me and talks to me, which is of course is better than being alone.
It is my hope that through sharing my experiences about my depression, anxiety and being a dad, I could raise awareness and help to reduce stigma on men and their mental health.
Mitchell King attempts to gain some light on mental health issues in the world. He has been actively involved in social media platforms to promote mental health awareness.