The world comes together every year on the third Sunday of June to celebrate World Father’s Day. The day marks a collective affection and love for the people who selflessly dedicate their lives to their children.
This Father’s day, you could give your dad a tie or a nice pair of socks. However, he already has plenty of them. Better instead, you can ask him a question that might make a tangible difference in his mental well-being: “How are you really doing, dad?”
For many, their fathers are symbols of unwavering strength. But the constant pressure to put a strong front forward can stop men- especially fathers- from reaching out for help. According to the Centres for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 10 US men suffer from some form of depression or anxiety. However, a staggering half of them never talk about it.
Worried that your dad might be struggling? Here’s how to check on him and do something that makes an actual difference:
Show up for him
The first step is not big. However, this is the most important one. Instead of saying a myriad of things on social media, just be there.
Did you know that social isolation can worsen mental health symptoms? As your dad gets older, he is bound to lose social connections. Pay him a visit, pick your phone up, and have a chat. Make sure this Father’s Day and every day, in general, you make a point to show up for him.
Where to begin with?
This is a tough one. You might have seen changes in his mood recently, but you aren’t quite sure how, to begin with. If you feel like he’s going through mood changes, here are a few ways you can try:
- “I’ve noticed that you are agitated/sad/not yourself recently. Is there something you would want to talk about?”
- “I have been stressed about you lately. Are you okay?”
- “I know I behave like this when I am upset. Are you stressed over something?”
Ask more than once
If you go up to your father to ask how he is, he will probably tell you off with a “yeah, everything is alright” phrase. That doesn’t always turn out to be true, though. Most of the time, they hide things just to save you the worry. That’s why ask twice.
“How are you?” No seriously, though, “how are you, really?”
Make him aware
Awareness of mental health problems is the key to recognizing and dealing with them. Helping your dad learn about different mental health issues is important. That way, if he sees any symptoms, he may be able to identify the condition or, most importantly, seek help.
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Give them control over their lives
As parents tend to get older, they feel a lack of control over their lives. They complain about how they live according to their children’s choices.
That’s why allowing your father to take back control over some things in life might help him feel better. Let him decide things for himself. Over time you will be able to maintain a balance between helping them and not being overcontrolling.
As grown-ups, you must take care of your parents and look after their mental health. This Father’s Day, try to do more than just buy socks for them. Take out time to check on your father’s mental health.
However, you can still buy him a pair of socks. Everyone needs socks.
Now that you have read about fathers and their mental health, let’s take you to another topic you SHOULD care about. Read about the signs of elder abuse that everyone must know here.
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