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Mental Health in Men During Lockdown.

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As if you didn't know, England is currently going through a 2nd lockdown. Some areas of the country are worse than others, for example, in Cornwall, there is hardly any case of infection. However, in the north-west of England, the virus is rampant.

Before the national lockdown areas of England were placed in a Tier system. the least worse areas were Tier 1, the next least worse was Tier 2 and the worst Tier 3.

Everything is shut down apart from supermarkets and places that can do takeaway meals/drinks. Obviously, those already with mental health are suffering in lockdown, but, those who have never experienced any mental health conditions, are starting to suffer from various forms of mental health.

Mental health affects everyone regardless of male, female, nationality, race, faith, etc. However, it seems according to a survey conducted by 'Time to Change' it is men who suffer the most.

Things have gotten so bad, that the 'NHS' has set up a special service, exclusively for men. The service encourages men to come forward and speak frankly about what they are going through. The service is confidential and it will endeavour to point men in the right direction of help such as CBT, etc.

The survey says 10% of men are suffering from various forms of mental illness, thanks to the lockdown. Many men, for one reason or another, feel isolated, lonely and feel they have no one to confide in. In the last 6 months, again due to lockdown caused by COVID, 45% of men, have suffered from some kind of mental illness.

In the survey, 1,500 men felt lonely because as said earlier, they had no one to talk to. 44% of men said they are missing helping their friends who struggle with symptoms of mental health. Even though technology allows people to connect over the net, video-linking, virtual calls, etc, many men don't like using technology. Also, what appears to be a male thing, many men did not like talking about their conditions. For many men, it is a thing of pride, they fear others, especially other men, will see their admittance of not coping, as a sign a weakness. It is the same thing as to why many men do not like visiting their GP. However, the service mentioned earlier, set up by the 'NHS', called 'Help Us to Help You' says men should not ashamed and there is no stigma attached to it.

I myself suffer from anxiety and depression and I have found my faith as a Christian helps. I try silent contemplative prayer, meditation, listening to chanting monks, and that helps me. Of course, while I recommend this, it may not work for everyone. Everyone whether male or female must find a way to do something positive and seek medical help and advice if needs be. I also, like walking my dog, walking in green spaces, gardening, writing, to help me get over the negative aspects of lockdown.

Men felt better when they were furloughed from their job, as usual, it means, they will have a job to go back to.

As someone has pointed out, the mental health crisis caused largely by the uncertainty, loneliness and isolation of lockdown is a pandemic itself. There are answers, but the answers must address the different aspects of suffering caused by mental health.