What goes up, must come down – for many guys, managing the comedown that follows from the party can be one of the challenges that comes along with partying. Here’s the facts – when the party’s over, dopamine tends to be running low, and it’s normal to be feeling a little bit down in the days after. For some guys, recognizing how the comedown that follows from the party impacts their mood, thoughts, and motivations provides a peek into how PnP influences their mental health.
PnP & Mental Health
Let’s start with the basics – when it comes to PnP, we need to be conscious about how drugs, lack of sleep, and other factors can influence our mental health. The drugs involved in PnP are strong, and we need to be aware of how taking too much runs the risk of psychosis and other side effects. If you have a pre-existing mental health condition or a family history of mental health conditions, it might be useful to check-in with a trusted friend or a provider before you PnP. If you find yourself feeling anxious, paranoid, or start to hallucinate when partying, stop immediately and those feelings should fade. To maintain your mental health, take breaks after and between PnP sessions so that you can give your body and mind time to recuperate. During comedowns, drink plenty of fluids, and nourish your body with healthy food. Look to naturally increase your dopamine by doing something that makes you happy, like exercising, listening to music, and connecting with friends and family.
Mental Health & Masculinity
Society puts pressure on men to fit into certain ideas of what it means to be a man – this often involves associating vulnerability with weakness. But for gay, bi, and queer men, manliness looks different, and partying can be an opportunity to express our feminine sides, which can be empowering. Layers of trauma associated with our sexual orientations and/or gender identities make it complex for gay, bi, and queer men to discuss mental health and drug use. However, it’s important to recognize that mental health needs to be checked in with and maintained, just like physical health – being conscious about your mental health is a sign of strength, not weakness. On a positive note, in Ontario there are a growing number of gay, bi, and queer mental health workers who understand how our mental health is influenced by our partying and our sexual orientations and/or gender identities. Check out some more details below.
Mental Health Support in Ontario
When looking to access mental health support in Ontario, often, the best place to start is to begin by considering what your needs are. If you’re mainly looking for someone to talk to about your mental health, such as working through stress and anxiety, a social worker, psychotherapist, or counsellor might be the best fit. If you’re looking for regular and ongoing support, a psychologist might be a better fit. Instead, if you think you’d benefit from medication, it might be best to connect with a psychiatrist. Harm reduction services at AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) can be useful outlets for accessing supplies and meaningful information and resources related to partying. Understanding that your mental health, partying, and your needs may change over time is important – be gentle with yourself and don’t be afraid to reach out when you need support.
Check out this directory by Rainbow Health Ontario for an overview of affirming mental health providers across the province.
Goodhead.ca also offers guidance on the who, where, and how of mental health for gay, bi, queer, and other guys into guys. AKA, who to go to, where to find them, and which questions to ask to ensure you’re receiving the most relevant and affirming care. Check them out!