The old male attitude to health of "it'll sort itself out" may have largely disappeared, but the same can't be said for mental health.

While few men develop the severe mental health problems experienced by Brookside's Jimmy Corkhill, stress and depression is on the increase in men and macho attitudes prevent them from facing the problem.

A new book, Having It All: A Man's Guide To Being Stronger, Fitter And Healthier by Dr Michael Apple and Rowena Gaunt, says men aren't doing enough for their good mental health.

"Men have always repressed their emotions," says Dr Michael Apple, a GP who has a first-class degree in psychology, "but in a previous world, they could still get away with that because other elements in their lives remained constant family, job, their social standing.

"Now all those things are out the window. Men don't know how long their jobs or relationships might last.

So they have been forced to confront their mental health and mental stability."

One problem men face is they are susceptible to becoming workaholics. This is due to their "mental settings" their need to perform at peak efficiency and fulfill their potential.

But at some point, this will start to have adverse effects on mental health, even leading to burn-out.

"The work/leisure balance has become very skewed," says Dr Apple. "But it's not just because men feel they need to work hard. The work process itself has become relentless."

These days, jobs and relationships and home can be transient. When men live a lifestyle that is so susceptible to change, it can cause insecurity.

Dr Apple says: "It helps for men to recognise when they are feeling insecure and not to become angry or resentful.

"Once they can recognise this, they can ask what it is that's causing the problem.

Then they can work out whether it's something they have to put up with or something that can change."

One of the most common mental-health problems is stress. While women easily recognise it, men can suffer longer as they often see their symptoms as a physical problem rather than mental.

"Men will say their neck aches or they get headaches all the time," says Dr Apple.

"So I'll question them about their job and often they have to be led towards the understanding their physical symptoms are due to stress.

"Some people thrive on stress and those who can live with it normally do very well.

Then there are those people who feel they are less in charge of their lives and they tend to suffer more.

"It's very important to have a life outside the situation which is causing stress. I always tell people to give themselves regular time when they are not available to anyone."

Although men aren't often thought of as worriers, anxiety can manifest itself in all of us. Anxiety can be a symptom of another taboo affliction depression.

Men often are not comfortable admitting they are feeling low, instead they say they are "exhausted" or "on edge".

But denial only adds to the problem.

"Men have more difficulty dealing with depression because it takes longer for them to admit they are depressed," says Dr Apple.

"Again, they will turn it into physical symptoms." Dr Apple suggests a stepby- step process for men to deal with psychological problems. First step is looking at what needs to change.

Then men should give themselves a certain amount of time in which they hope to make changes. During this time, any progress can be rewarded.

"For a man to accept he may have a psychological problem is a big step," says Dr Apple. "It threatens his self-esteem.

"But they should remember it's impressive if they face up to their problems."

Having It All: A Man's Guide To Being Stronger, Fitter And Healthier costs £6.99 and is published by Metro Publishing.