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Must-watch video reveals the truth behind men’s mental health

Men at soccer game

Norwich City Football Club via Youtube

Cerith Gardiner - published on 02/26/24

A video of two men at a soccer game demonstrates how appearances can be deceiving.

In conjunction with World Mental Health Day on October 10, the British soccer club Norwich City shared on YouTube a video of two men at a number of soccer games to highlight a common problem in today’s society.

In just three minutes, we’re invited into the lives of the soccer fans as they enjoy the various matches over the club’s season. It’s a typical scenario where the men meet up once a week, united in their love for the game: The usual chitchat and banter is exchanged.

Yet, without giving the purpose of the video away, the snapshot into the well-being of these men demonstrates a real danger with mental health, particularly concerning men. (It’s therefore really worth taking the time to watch the video in its entirety and to share with others.)

Males and mental health

In fact, statistics published by the government’s National Library of Medicine reveal some disturbing details about mental health in the United States, stating, “Men (79% of 38,364) die by suicide at a rate four times higher than women,” which is a phenomenon no doubt familiar in other countries across the globe.

According to a study by Benita N. Chatmon on Males and Mental Health Stigma, the doctor shared how one in five Americans are affected by mental illness. However, she pointed out that “mental health among men often goes untreated because they are far less likely to seek mental health treatment than women,” and continued to show how “depression and suicide are ranked as a leading cause of death among men.”

Key warning signs

As the video underlines, it’s vital for all of us to “check in on those around you.” Many people are wonderful at putting on a facade and facing the day with a smile. However, beneath the smiles and the jokes, people — especially men — can be hiding a problem, or maybe a myriad of issues, which they’re desperately trying to deal with alone.

Here are just a few warning signs, as highlighted by the Mayo Clinic, that might indicate if a man in your family or community might be struggling with their mental health:

Withdrawal from activities

If a man starts to distance himself from sports events, regular get-togethers, attending Mass, or participating in religious or other activities that were once important to him, it could indicate a struggle with mental health.

Similarly, avoiding social interactions, withdrawing from friends and family, or isolating oneself may be signs of depression, anxiety, or other mental health challenges.

Changes in behavior or mood

Noticeable shifts in behavior, such as increased irritability, anger outbursts, or unexplained mood swings, could be signs of mental health challenges. They might also display great fatigue, and lack of energy so that everything becomes a bit of an effort, and even their body movements may be slowed. These changes may manifest in strained relationships with family and friends.

Increased substance use

Turning to alcohol, drugs, or other substances as a way to cope with emotional pain or stress can also be a sign of underlying mental health struggles.

Physical symptoms without medical explanation

Chronic headaches, weight loss, digestive issues, insomnia, or other physical symptoms that persist despite medical treatment may be linked to mental health concerns. It’s important not to dismiss any ailments the man in your life might be suffering and seek medical help.

Extreme or risky behavior

Engaging in reckless activities, excessive gambling, or taking unnecessary risks with one’s safety can be indicative of underlying mental health issues such as impulsivity or a desire to escape emotional pain.

Persistent feelings of guilt or worthlessness

Experiencing overwhelming guilt, feelings of worthlessness, or persistent self-criticism that interferes with daily functioning may indicate underlying mental health issues such as depression or low self-esteem. In Catholicism, understanding God’s unconditional love and forgiveness is fundamental, so persistent feelings of guilt may warrant pastoral or professional support.

Irregular sleep pattern

Sleep can also be an indicator as to the state of someone’s mental health. If someone is sleeping too little, or too much, this may be a sign that they are struggling. Of course, if your husband has been working extra long hours, or has been more physical, this would naturally affect their need for more sleep.

Suicidal thoughts

A man might directly express that they no longer wish to live. They might even talk about suicide itself. If this is the case, then you need to seek medical help immediately.

It’s important for individuals experiencing these warning signs to reach out for support, through trusted friends, family members, clergy, and mental health professionals. Spiritual leaders and mental health professionals can work hand in hand to promote healing and well-being.

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