Everyone has a mental health, just in the same way that everyone has a physical health.
Sometimes a person’s mental health can be poor and sometimes it can be good but we only ever seems to talk about mental health, or at least use the word ‘mental health’ when we’re talking about someone being unwell or we’re not feeling good and that needs to change!
There is enough research and evidence now to strongly suggest that everyone who has experienced sexual abuse, rape or sexual violation will in some way experience various levels of poor and good mental health. Over the years, here at We Are Survivors, we have talked with hundreds and hundreds of men who have had both difficulties and found ways to manage mental heath and move forward from their mental health issues, which we see as a legacy of the impact of the sexual abuse.
As we said in the introduction to this section, the Male Survivors Partnership have worked with NHS to deliver a range of ‘Self Help’ Guides on a range of topics and issues connected to Mental Health. You can get free access to them by clicking here.
When we talk about mental health issues, we’re often talking about one of the five main ‘Common Mental Health’ issues, which are:
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
When we say common, what we mean is that research and evidence shows that these combined mental health problems affect more people than any other, in fact its known that up to 15% of the population at any one time in the UK will be dealing with one or more of these. It’s not unusual for some people to have more than one mental health problem, commonly depression and anxiety. Whilst they are common, that doesn’t mean that other mental health issues or disorders don’t count or don’t matter… they do. Whatever issue it is, as a survivor we can GUARANTEE that you’re not alone with it and that things can get better.
We’ve chosen the common mental health issues that the lads that access our service experience to write something about here and also provided some extra information and signposting that we hope you find useful.
We have to tackle our mental health issues as part of our healing journey, we need to rid ourselves of any shame that we carry about asking for help and we need to collectively ensure that the stigma that can be associated with mental health issues is banished into the annuals of history.