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Mental Health

Anxiety and Depression



Anxiety is a regular emotion that is a closely related to fear. Everyone will feel anxious at some point in their lives. Anxiety can become a mental health issue when it happens a lot or when you feel like it never goes away.

This type of anxiety may have both physical and mental symptoms including:

  • Physical: difficulty breathing, tightness in your chest, sweating a lot,  changes in your heart rhythm, dizziness, nausea, diarrhoea.
  • Mental: strong feelings of fear, feeling very uneasy a lot, worrying a lot more than usual

This kind of anxiety can be caused by many different things. Using substances, like cocaine or other stimulants can increase anxiety. Some men who have sex with men may be exposed to violence or discrimination that leads to fear and can create an anxiety mental issue.

Understanding anxiety is important because it can influence how your behaviour and the things you do. Some men may drink more alcohol to try and cope with the symptoms of anxiety and this can then also increase high-risk behaviours like having sex without a condom.


Everyone feels sad or low sometimes, that’s a normal and healthy part of being human. When feeling sad or low doesn’t seem to go away or it starts to affect your ability to live your life normally then you might be depression. Here are some of the symptoms of depression:

  • You feel low or depressed almost all day long and for almost every day
  • You feel hopeless about your life or you feel that you are worthless
  • You can’t think clearly or concentrate like you used to
  • You aren’t excited about the activities you used to like or you aren’t interested in everyday life
  • You think a lot about death or even trying to kill yourself.

Just like with anxiety, depression can be something people are born being more prone to and other develop because of factors in their lives. Depression is common in men who have sex with men because of the violence, stigma, and discrimination they experience.

If you think you are suffering from anxiety or depression, find out how to get help here.