Know the signs and symptoms

Many of us blokes think we need to do it all ourselves. We put off having a chat with our mates when we’re feeling down, put off going to our GP, and put off talking to our partner about how we’re feeling because we have the idea that ‘being a man’ means being silent and strong.

These kinds of social norms around masculinity can be really harmful, especially when it comes to your mental health. It can make it really hard for many of us to acknowledge when we’re not doing too well and even harder to reach out for the kinds of support we need when we’re struggling.

It's important to remember that everyone’s mental health varies during their life, and can move back and forth along their own personal range between positive and healthy at one end through to severe symptoms or conditions at the other, in response to different stressors and experiences.


Everyone feels sad, angry, or flat sometimes – these feelings are part of a healthy, full range of emotions, and are usually nothing to worry about.

However, if you’ve been feeling sad, down, miserable, or angry most of the time for more than two weeks, you may be experiencing symptoms of depression.

Men are much more likely to recognise the physical symptoms, rather than the emotional signs, of depression. These symptoms can include things like feeling tired all the time, or changes in your weight, whether that’s losing weight or putting on a few extra kilos.

Some of the signs of changes in your mood are different for blokes, too. Men are more likely to report feeling angry or irritable, for example, rather than feeling low.

One of the other telltale signs is a loss of interest in activities you usually enjoy, whether that’s getting together with your mates, working in the garden, or just getting outside for a walk or a run.

Find out more about the signs and symptoms of depression

The reality is that depression and anxiety are unlikely to go away on their own. If they’re ignored and left untreated, depression and anxiety can go on for months, sometimes years, making it hard to cope with day-to-day life.

The good news is depression is treatable, and there are simple actions you can take to start working on getting better and staying well.


All blokes experience stress at different times in their lives. It could be feeling overwhelmed by a busy work schedule, or struggling with money problems, or feeling nervous before giving a speech at a wedding. This type of ‘normal’ stress is part of life, and while we need to keep an eye on it over time to protect our health, it usually passes when the stressful situation is overcome or goes away.

But anxiety is different.

Anxiety is the fear that something terrible is going to happen. Your worries ‘snowball’ into seeing catastrophe in everyday situations.

Where stress prods you to react to a situation that requires your attention, anxiety causes you to see threats and danger where it doesn’t actually exist, or causes you to react too strongly to the amount of threat in a situation.

It’s intense, disrupts your life and hangs around even when a stressful situation has passed.

Your worries might be making you feel panicked, tense or on edge, be stopping you from sleeping, and wanting to avoid situations that make you feel anxious.

Anxiety can be a serious condition, but you don’t need to let it control you. Like depression, anxiety is treatable. If you’re experiencing symptoms of anxiety, it’s important to get support so you can start to get better. 

Find out more about anxiety and what you can do to take action

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