Male suicide is a big mental health issue in Northern Ireland. But let’s stop calling it mental health. It’s health. Your brain is the biggest organ in the body and of course, it can crash. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Hands up if the doubts and fears in your head, have changed you:
- Made you lose weight or gain weight
- Made it impossible to leave the house
- Given you sleep problems
- Given you stomach problems
- Made you panic and suffer anxiety attacks
- Messed with your memory
- Made you break down
- Made you hurt yourself and want to quit?
Let’s talk about you, not everyone else. The people who matter will know you aren’t rude, just anxious – not lazy but depressed. You’re not crazy and you aren’t attention-seeking.
Male Suicide and Anxiety
Anxiety is a twisted demon. Friends and family can be screaming at you that you are loved and talented and that everything is going to be ok. You will hear them, probably believe them. Then the anxiety voice in your head will come back and doubt will return. Anxiety can be feeling unable to speak up and worried about appearing stupid or using the “right” words.
Anxiety makes you think everyone is judging you and feeling you aren’t living up to expectations. It plays tricks. Anxiety isn’t a weakness. Living with anxiety, turning up and doing stuff with anxiety – that takes strength. So be proud of yourself for how hard you are trying. Just because you are struggling, doesn’t mean you are failing.
Depression is losing interest in everything, even the things which you used to really enjoy. Emotional and tired and unable to find the energy to do even the most basic things. Double whammy, anxiety and depression at the same time. Being scared and tired at the same time. The fear of failure but no urge to be productive. Wanting friends but hate having to be social. Feeling everything at once then feeling numb.
Male Suicide and Stress
When your mind is constantly racing and worrying about everything and everyone. When there appears to be no time for anything and most of all, no time for you. One demand after another and nothing getting achieved. Stress is a feeling that everyone wants a piece of you and believing you have to achieve and solve everything. Too much stress can literally cause the brain to shut down and freeze temporarily.
A much more important word is healing. Healing is not an overnight process. It takes time and sometimes it feels a little bit better, then horrible again. You feel tired and fed up. You feel close to breaking but there’s a strength within you even when you feel weak. Keep fighting, one day at a time.
Recovery is not a straight line and you need help to navigate the highs and lows. GPs might prescribe medicine to help and taken correctly, it can part the clouds just enough to help you see a little bit clearer. Spending time outdoors, absorbing fresh air, daylight and the peace found in nature can help you think clearer. Being physical and working up a sweat, can release endorphins to help the chemicals in your brain. Getting a massage or reflexology or aromatherapy can truly help calm the brain and in turn help with sleep, eating and perspective. Use all of these and never give up. Tell a friend you are struggling because when “I” is replaced with “We”. Illness becomes Wellness.
Also, talk to yourself in the mirror. You are not a failure and you are not a waste of space. You are none of the negative thoughts you hear in your head and you are stronger than you think.
Everyone is a little broken, but broken crayons still colour. Please get in touch if you need help with your mental health.