Men Experiencing Difficult Times

It is important to remember that there are things we can do to get through tough times and we don’t have to go through it alone. Difficult times can be easier to manage with the right help and support.

Although we all go through difficult times in life, men and women can experience and react to these situations differently. Research shows that men are less likely to seek support for mental health issues and are less likely to disclose a mental health problem to friends or family. It is important to remember that there are things we can do to get through tough times and we don’t have to go through it alone. Difficult times can be easier to manage with the right help and support.

However, sometimes problems don’t go away on their own and we might not be able to solve them by ourselves. This can have a serious impact on our work, our relationships with family and friends and our physical and mental health.

Different people show stress and strain in different ways. You may notice the physical symptoms of stress before you recognise your emotional feelings about a situation. Some common signs of stress or strain may include: 

  • Physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle aches/tension, weight loss or gain 
  • Feeling angry or aggressive 
  • Increased nervousness, agitation, restlessness or fidgeting 
  • Changes to behaviour such as increased use of alcohol or drugs or increased gambling.
  • Withdrawing from friends and family, becoming distant 
  • Feeling helpless or out of control 
  • Losing interest in activities that you usually enjoy 
  • Feeling hopeless, guilty or like a ‘failure’ or burden to others• Thoughts of harming yourself or others 
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or others
  • Thoughts of suicide


If you, or someone you care for is in need of support, please call Lifeline to speak to a trained Crisis Supporter on 13 11 14 (24 hours / 7 days) or text Lifeline on 0477 13 11 14 (12pm – 6am AEDT). We are here to listen.

  1. Recognise when you aren’t coping Pay attention to your body, how you’re feeling and any changes in your physical health, behaviour and emotions. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or out of control, it’s time to do something about it. 
  2. Talk about it Having someone listen to your problems can help to relieve stress, give you some perspective and allows you to let off steam and release negative emotions. You might even find that the person you talk to has gone through a similar situation and may have ways of coping that you haven’t thought of.
  3. Take care of yourself Eat a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, do activities that you enjoy and find time to relax. Exercise is particularly important, as it relieves tension and aggression, helps you to sleep better, can connect you with friends and keeps you fit and healthy. 
  4. Reduce use of alcohol and drugs, including caffeine and nicotine Alcohol and drugs can have a serious impact on your physical health and can lead to aggression, agitation and mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety or psychosis. Even caffeine and nicotine can cause you to become agitated or anxious, so it’s best to limit your intake as much as possible. 
  5. Avoid excessive gambling or other high-risk activities Excessive gambling and other risky activities (e.g. dangerous driving, unsafe sex, self-harm, criminal activity) can make your problems worse and can put both you and others in danger. 
  6. Have a health check-up A visit to your GP for a general health check-up is a good idea during difficult times, even if you’re not feeling ‘sick’. Tell your doctor if you’ve been experiencing any ongoing negative emotions, such as feeling angry, anxious, panicky or depressed. Explain your situation – often your doctor can provide good advice and can also refer you to others who can help. 
  7. Be proactive — Come up with some practical ways to manage your situation. You might want to build your skills through a workshop or course, develop a plan of action or search ideas online. Stay positive and focus on what you can do, rather than what is out of your control.
  8. Stay connected It’s important to stay in touch with family and friends, particularly during tough times. Catching up with mates and loved ones, in person, over the phone or via social media, makes you feel valued and helps you from feeling isolated and alone.
  9. Try a new hobby — Getting involved in your community can also help you to stay connected – you could join a local club or group, try a new hobby or even consider volunteering to help others. Helping others is a great way to take your mind off things, get some perspective, meet new people and give something back to your community.

It takes courage and strength to ask for help. Seeking support from others can help you to get through tough times. 


For Crisis Support contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 (available 24/7), chat online at (12pm – 6am AEDT) or text 0477 13 11 14 (12pm – 6am AEDT).

For 24-hour telephone crisis support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14

If life is in danger, call 000

Lifeline South Coast would like to acknowledge the lives that have been lost to suicide. We are committed to supporting those with a lived experience of suicide and aim to reduce the stigma around seeking help for poor mental health and suicidal crisis.