‘There is no shame in telling people you are suffering from anxiety, it can happen to anyone’-Anxiety and Depression in men.

One in four people will experience mental health issues, 17% of men will develop depression and anxiety at some point in their life. Sadly, depression maybe more deadly for men than it is for women.

Lock down has accentuated these problems and the level of men now experiencing mental health issues is on the increase. The percentage of adults who experienced mental health problems and symptoms of depression was the highest between those aged 18 and 29 years old, then 45-64 years old.

Depression and other mental health issues can affect both women and men.Many men who are depressed may exhibit symptoms of anger and aggressive behaviour. Men frequently hid their emotions or may well feel embarrassed to share their feelings of depression or anxiety.

The Havering Daily has spoken to a Rainham man in his 20’s who has suffered from anxiety and depression for the last year and has been too ashamed to seek help in fear of being laughed at.

The man who did not wish to be named told the Havering Daily: “I grew up in a household where men were men and there was no place for a man to show his feelings. It really was frowned upon and looked at in total disdain if a man had a bad day and was struggling to cope with it. My father was very much a dominant male, that was how it was. He ruled over the family and as his only son I was expected to be like him. His ethic is work and get on with it. There is no room for showing your emotions and definitely not saying you are having a bad day.

“I am very different to him and he can’t deal with that, he expects me to be just like him and I am not. He tried very much to mould me into another him but then was horrified to see that I am nothing like him and that’s when the problems really began. We argue all the time and he sees me as a failure because I am not like him. It was very hard when I was living at home, there were fights all the time and my mother would be very upset as she loves us both. He can’t stand how I am and I can never be like him. I am my own person, I am happy to show my feelings, I realise that now.”

The Rainham man has been experiencing anxiety and depression now as a result of these issues.

“When I first had a panic attack I though I was having a heart attack, I really didn’t know what it was. I had never heard of anything like this and was ashamed to be feeling that way. My upbringing meant I should not be having panic attacks yet here I was in hospital wondering what was going on. From then on I have suffered weekly with panic attacks. At first I was so embarrassed to be having them that I tried to stop them or not acknowledge them and that has just made them worse.

“Now, when they come I try and listen to what my body is telling me and slowly accept that I have issues that need to be dealt with. It is hard with my upbringing, there was no room for depression and anxiety. I have now acknowledged that there is no shame in feeling this way, it can happen to anyone. Because I tried to push my anxiety away, it actually made it worse and I developed other medical issues as a result that I am now dealing with.

“Please don’t be ashamed to share your feelings, and if you are struggling please ask for help. There is no shame in telling people that you are suffering with anxiety, It can happen to anyone.”

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