CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Taking care of Dad goes far beyond the physical factors. Doctor Kenneth Perry at Trident Medical says mental health awareness is important to fighting the stigma behind it.
“But people still feel concerned in bringing up the fact that maybe they’re not as happy as they used to be,” Perry said. “Maybe they’re just not finding joy in the things that they used to find joy in.”
Mental Health America reports more than 6-million men suffer from depression each year.
“Older males who have either been widowed or are alone for some reason, they have a really high risk of mental health and suicide,” said Perry.
The site reports more than four times as many men die by suicide than women in America. But mental health doesn’t only affect older men.
“It’s across the entire spectrum,” Perry said. “So no matter what age dad is, it’s important to make sure that you’re keeping engaged, and if there is something, bring it up. Don’t worry about talking about it.”
Doctor Perry says people sometimes resort to exercise as a means of overcoming mental health issues, thinking a job around the block can help them get back on track.
“Mental health is not something that you can fix just with exercise,” Perry said. “It sometimes takes counseling. It sometimes takes medication. And sometimes, it’s really intensive counseling.”
Perry said it’s important to know that mental health is a real disease that needs a lot of intervention.
“Sometimes you need to switch it up,” Perry said. “But make sure you’re talking to your family and realize that sometimes we all have to make a change.”
You should also consult with your doctor.
And know that it’s okay to not be okay.