Causes for Concern
Being aware of the general causes of unhappiness may help you to more easily identify the signs. A significant life event or ongoing problem can sometimes trigger a man to feel quite down.
- Work Stresses
- Relationship worries
- A change of jobs
- Money problems
- Health issues or disability
- Loss of independence
- Grief / Loss
- Stopping smoking
Sometimes there may be absolutely no external reason for a man to feel blue – they just are. A way to spot this would be to watch out for any sudden behaviour changes and him not quite seeming himself.
The Tell Tale Signs
It is important to note the signs of distress and how they may manifest in a loved one from day to day – noticing any sudden changes in behaviour or mood.
- If your partner or friend has repeated episodes of feeling low you may be able to identify certain ‘triggers’ and encourage them to seek help sooner
- Irritability may be a common sign – which may need reassurance not retaliation
- If you notice them withdrawing from social activities and spending time alone, encourage them to talk or try to offer opportunity for them to join in.
- He may become fidgety, agitated or impatient
- He may become sad or upset easily
- He may not be able to focus on anything positive
- There may be a lack of concentration, focus or inability to remember things
- He may be attributing a lot of blame and negativity towards himself
- He may seem tired and with no energy or unable to sleep
Ways to Give Help
Small actions speak volumes – there’s no need for grand statements or gestures, as this can draw unwanted attention. Here are a few tips on what you can do to support a man who is struggling.
- Treat him normally – Men like to just get on with things and don’t generally ask for help
- Being there to talk to and providing support
- Initiate conversations – just a simple question to see how his day is going
- Encouraging him to get the help he needs
- Physical help if absolutely necessary– cleaning, cooking, personal care
- Help with finances - men like to be independent and self-sufficient but if they are struggling, the offer of help can sometimes release a burden
- Medical administration
- Avoid criticism or passing judgment
- Make him feel reassured that you are on his side
- Make him feel included in social activities and offer opportunities to join in
Don't forget to look after yourself!
You can’t support somebody else if you yourself are not in good health. It is important to remember that if you are struggling with the demand of helping to care for somebody, you probably won’t be much good to them, which may in fact have some detrimental impact on their progress or yours.
If you feel like you are struggling to deal with the reality of the situation, look after yourself and get some support.
Take a break and make some time for you.