It wasn't that long ago that the rate of depression and mental health problems were much higher in women. Now, according to "Canadian Mental Health Association" Men are up there along with women.
It seemed back in the day that women were the ones that had postpartum depression and now we see that men as well are also vulnerable to having Postpartum depression. We as women would maybe doubt that because after all, it's our bodies that go through the stress of pushing out a 7 lb baby! Although, I can understand why there would be more depression there for men nowadays. I mean, men are seen as the breadwinners of a family, and now that family just increased by one. The world is a strange place and jobs are not all that secure or certain. I could see that stress pile up for men.
Men also have a "Male Menopause" once they reach 40! Men will struggle with;
- low energy
- low libido
- difficulty concentrating
- mood swings
Men in general though, have a difficult time handling these symptoms and don't always seek help with these or with depression. Why is that? A question that I have been asking myself like ALOT lately has been "Have women gone too far on the whole "We are the ones to suffer for everything?" Maybe, just maybe, we have done so much marching for our rights, whining that we have all these problems and we have over-looked men and what they might be going through and experiencing as they go through different stages of life. So what can men do about all the emotions and changes in their bodies that they are experiencing?
Firstly, I believe that the whole toxic "Men are strong enough to handle stress on their own" is just hogwash! Men are people too and it will all depend on how a person was raised, what values his/her parents instilled in them growing up, education and communication. Men typically will not seek out help with depression or with mental health. They feel like they should "buck up" and so most will not talk about it, will suffer, and the worst-case scenario..suicide.
I think it's time, as a society, to start talking about mental health and depression and how it affects all of us, not just women. I think we need to start to educate people on this in school, talk about mental health and how it affects each of us, and that it is difficult for ANYONE experiencing change and not just limited to women.
So let's change the story to "Men are brave because they speak up about their feelings and emotions and know that it is not weak to ask for help". I for one want to see our men succeed in life in every way.
**Joanne Hughes is a Strategist and can be found at www.joannehughescoaching.com. Soon to have a new location and a new