While dads everywhere will be celebrated on Father's Day,there will be many who are silently struggling with the ups-and-downs of parenting.

But rather than sharing their worries and fears, they'll probably keep them hidden because, unlike women, men characteristically find it harder to discuss their emotions.

This is just one of the issues discussed by Dr Ian Banks in the new Haynes Brain Manual (Haynes Publishing, £14.99), which lifts the lid on what goes on in men's heads and offers down-to-earth advice on maintaining mental wellbeing,published to coincide with National Men's Health Week.

Banks says: "There's a tradition of men being reluctant to talk or express what's on their mind, tolook under the bonnet', sometimes for fear of finding they are not normal'."

That can cause a number of problems, including stress and depression, which men are less likely to consult a GP about.

"Fathers, in particular, believe they should be competent and that's been heightened by the concept of the New Man' who performs brilliantly in all areas at work and at home," Banks adds.

"But it's very hard to live up to and men fear if they admit they're struggling they'll be seen as failures, vulnerable or, even worse, weak."

Raising children is difficult, he stresses, and it's not uncommon for fathers to feel a host of emotions ranging from anger, resentment and boredom to guilt, disappointment and despair.

"It's important to remember there's no such thing as a perfect dad, we all have good and bad days and we all make mistakes," he says.

"Having a range of feelings is natural.

What's really important is that we can recognise when our feelings are getting on top of us.

That could be the time to talk them over with our partner or take other action."

LOOK AFTER YOUR BRAIN Substitute the computer graphics for a scene of a woodland or an aquarium. Just viewing natural scenes can improve your mental health.

Foods high in saturated fats, such as crisps and ready meals, dull your mental faculties and should only be eaten in moderation.

Alcohol consumption and dehydration are both strongly linked to depression.

Try and cut down and always drink water alongside alcohol to help reduce the effect.

If you have overwork-related depression try to be with people as much as possible and distract yourself by going for walks, listening to music or watching TV.

DANGER SIGNS Suicide is the most common cause of death in men aged under 35 and 75 per cent of suicides in the UK are male.

Banks stresses: "What we have to get across is that you can be perfectly male without being macho and talking about your feelings and problems is healthy."

The following signs could indicate you're having trouble:

  • Having difficulty getting to sleep or waking early and not being able to go back to sleep.
  • Feeling really tired even though you haven't done much.
  • Getting aches and pains for no obvious reason or feeling run down.
  • Not having much appetite.
  • Not feeling like going out.
  • Not being interested in the things you enjoyed before.
  • Feeling anxious and tetchy
  • for no reason or "flying off the handle" a lot.
  • Getting lots of headaches or migraines.
  • WHAT TO DO Talking to friends or family can help reduce stress.

If that's not appropriate, go to your GP who may refer you to a counsellor or psychotherapist or offer medication.

Taking this action doesn't mean you're mad in fact it shows you are helping yourself.

Looking after your physical health can help mental health,too.

That means a balanced diet, exercise and sleep children permitting!