Men’s Health Week – How does the internet play a role?

Men’s Health Week is 12 to 18 June and the theme is Men’s Health and the internet.

Many societal stereotypes and expectations have historically made it challenging for men to seek help with health issues, whether they are physical, mental or emotional.

Often, men are expected to be ‘strong’, bottling up their feelings and demonstrating resilience in the face of adversity.

This societal pressure can exacerbate health issues, making it harder for men to reach out for help.

Growing up with constant access to the internet is reportedly making this even more difficult.

The internet can cause more serious issues for men, especially when it comes to battling addiction such as online gambling and pornography addiction.

Daily dopamine dose

Phones are used without a second thought nowadays, with many relying on the devices to travel, work and socialise.

But having a need to be on your phone can cause your health to suffer as you become addicted to the dopamine you receive when on the device.

Dopamine is a key chemical messenger in the brain which creates feelings of pleasure. It plays a role in what we find interesting, our memory and ultimately makes us feel good.

The danger of this when it relates to using the internet is becoming reliant on that hit of dopamine that is released while using your favourite apps and not realising that you are unable to go without technology.

This becomes even more serious when it begins to play a role in addiction that men particularly suffer from such as gambling.

There is evidence that constant access to a phone has had a negative impact on men struggling with addiction or health issues.

There is much less opportunity to resist something like gambling when everything is laid out so easily on your phone and takes a few simple clicks.

What can you do?

The simple answer is to talk about any problems you feel you might have.

But this is not always as easy as it sounds.

If you find yourself reaching for your phone more than you should and feel you rely on it, it might be time to spend some time away from your technology.

If you feel comfortable, reach out to a friend or family member for support.

It is also important to understand that getting in touch with a professional is sometimes necessary.

Putting your health first is much more important than keeping things to yourself and suffering in silence.

For more advice on this topic, get in touch with us for support on mental health and challenging behaviour. You can find out more about Men’s Health Week here.

Posted in Complex behaviour, General, Mental Health.