This post follows on from the sentiments expressed in my writings from last week. (Please click here for a link to that blog post concerning mental health in men.) In this post, for those of you that have not read it, I highlighted recent statistics…
- Only 36% of referrals to psychological therapies are for men.
- Suicide is the biggest cause of death for men under the age of 45.
- Of all the suicides recorded in the UK in 2014, 76% were male. This can also be found through-out the last three decades.
I cited the stigma associated with mental illness as part of the explanation as to why this was the case. Today I’d like to share with you another statistic that I have since come across.
- Men are 3 times more likely than women to become alcohol dependent.
There’s no skirting round the issue that very few men speak openly and honestly about the state of their mental health – I know that even I’m not as honest as I’d like to be in everyday life. Consequently, men learn to deal with their problems another way. First and foremost alcohol is a coping mechanism, yet it is also one that frequently gets out of hand.
Maybe you’ve had some experience of this, have you seen this too?
“Men and younger men in particular, are more likely to avoid talking about their feelings [and] more likely to self-medicate, to drink, smoke and avoid the issue rather than actually go, ‘OK, I need to find the words to do something about this.” – Paul Farmer, CEO of Mind, the mental health charity.
And yet, these problems in relation to self-medicating, anger, violence and drugs, can be alleviated if we diminish the inherent societal pressures present through-out society, demanding that men “man-up”.