By Daniel Quin,
It’s stating the obvious but men do experience work, school, relationship, and personal stress. What is concerning is approximately one in five Australians will experience mental symptoms, each year.
For men and women the most common mental health problems are anxiety and depression. However, where men differ is their seeking of help for their wellbeing. Men are significantly less likely to see a GP or a psychologist and report their concerns.
Growing up in country Victoria and playing Australian rules football I participated in the culture of: “Harden up”. It’s perhaps not surprising that the rates of suicide, violence, and alcohol abuse are worse in men, particularly in rural areas. It is heartening to see events like Movember, sporting organisations, and workplaces encouraging men to seek help when they are struggling.
All too often men (and women) keep on soldiering on, feeling terrible about themselves, using alcohol to cope, or being irritable towards friends and family. Some men have been doing this for so long that they don’t know any other way. Seeing a psychologist can be an important step in making changes to improve irritability, relationships, etc.
Choosing a psychologist is a crucial step. Personally, I like working with men and women alike but some people have a preference for a male or female psychologist, and this is fine. Sometimes a GP referral or the Psychology Melbourne matching service can recommend a male psychologist. More important than the gender of your psychologist is the “fit” between the person seeking psychological support and the psychologist.