Mental health issues amongst young people are typically associated with young women, with eating disorders, stress and other conditions typically thought of as being issues for girls. However, this is a common misconception. Mental health conditions amongst young men are becoming an increasing concern and it’s important that it is recognised so they know where to turn if they have any concerns for either themselves or others.
Young men and depression
A recent YouGov poll showed that a quarter of young men are turning to self-harm in order to deal with depression. The men polled were aged 16-24 and said they had deliberately harmed themselves, while another 22% said that they had considered it. Other worrying findings showed that when faced with pressure, many young men would turn to excessive exercise, controlled eating, drug abuse, pulling out their hair and showing aggressive behaviour such as punching walls. Last year, the Guardian obtained figures from the NHS that showed that self-harm admissions had risen over the last 10 years, showing the worrying increase in cases amongst young people. It is therefore important that young men are aware of where they can get help for depression and other mental health issues.
Mental health resources in East Berkshire
There are a number of alternative health services available in East Berkshire for those with mental health issues, who will be able to provide help and information to young men who need it. The Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has the resources to help young people get diagnosis and treatment for their mental health concerns. The CAMHS scheme (Child and adolescent mental health services) is a bespoke mental health service for young people in the Berkshire area which can help young men to get the advice they need for their mental health.
Young men and depression: Seeing your GP
If you find yourself feeling depressed, especially for a prolonged period, it’s important that you make an appointment with your GP, particularly if you’re experiencing any of the following:
- Feeling depressed for most of the day, or for a period lasting more than a couple of weeks
- Feeling as though you can’t carry out normal day to day activities such as work, school or other interests or effecting your relationships with your friends and family.
- The urge to self-harm or even commit suicide.
Depression is a difficult thing to admit, and whilst you may not think that treatment can help you, it can. When you make an appointment with your GP, you can get a clinical diagnosis for your depression, or another diagnosis if something else is causing your symptoms. They will do this by asking you a series of questions and offering advice on treatment. To help you get the most out of your appointment, you can:
- Ask to see the GP with the most interest in mental health issues and depression.
- Think about what you’d like to get from your appointment and be prepared to open up about how you are feeling or thinking – they are there to help you, not judge you.
- Think about how you’ve been sleeping, eating and carrying out your day to day activities – they may ask you questions in order to see how your depression is affecting you.
- If you have questions about treatment options or about anything else, write them down and be sure to ask them.
Other resources for young men with mental health issues
There are a number of great charities and support services available to men with mental health issues. The MIX provides advice and support on a range of issues for people under the age of 25 and offers support for those with depression. Young Minds is a leading organisation for young people and mental health, supported by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. They can offer advice and direct young men to services which can help them with their mental health concerns.
If you find yourself struggling with symptoms of depression, it’s important that you seek help as soon as possible. Make an appointment with your GP and if you need out of hours services in East Berkshire, we will be able to assist you. Find out more about where to find us and the GP surgeries covered by our out of hours services here.