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Men Tell Us What They Wish Other Men Knew About Mental Health: 5 Bitter Truths

Men Wish Other Men Knew About Mental Health

Did you know over 40% of men do not talk about their mental health issues? In fact, according to men’s mental health statistics, most of them report seeking medical help only when struggling with thoughts of self-harm or suicide. Men’s mental health is an increasingly serious issue that we need to talk about openly without any judgment, criticism or shame.

In our complex and flawed society, men still lack a safe space to talk about their emotional and mental issues. No, we don’t talk about men’s mental health. We simply tell them to “man up” because “boys don’t cry”. But it’s time to change that as telling someone struggling with psychological struggles to man-up is not the answer.

Related reading: 10 Rules For Modern Masculinity

Men’s mental health awareness vs social stigma

Men's Mental Health
Men’s Mental Health

Mental health is a topic we need to take seriously regardless of someone’s gender. Yet, men are judged more than women when they struggle with devastating mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Why? Simply because men are supposed to be strong.

They are not supposed to show signs of weakness. And this makes it increasingly difficult for most men to admit that they are struggling, let alone ask for help.

This stands true even when studies have found that men are more vulnerable to commit suicide than women. “Suicide appears to be a male phenomenon, as death rates from suicide are four-to-five times higher for men than for women,” explain researchers

Then how do we spread awareness about men’s mental health on this men’s mental health month, when we are stifled by stigma and suffocated by a highly distorted society?

By openly talking about it. By encouraging those who have found the courage to seek help and recover from their inner struggles. To share their stories. To encourage those men who are still hiding in the shadows desperately trying not to let anyone know about their mental issues. 

We need such bold and brave men to lead our society into an era where seeking help is encouraged and applauded, not criticized and judged.

Related reading: What is Good Mental Health?

What men wish other men knew about mental health

Not everyone hides their pain. Some fight and inspire others to fight their inner demons and find the light which can brighten their life once again. Here are the things to know about men’s mental health from men dealing with mental illness the right way

1. Dean, 33: It’s okay to be emotional and express your feelings

Having emotions and sharing them is healthy and natural, believes Dean who has been coping with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), which causes constant feelings of fear, anxiety, self-doubt and insecurities.

He says his condition makes it difficult for him to communicate his feelings as he is riddled with self-doubt and social anxiety. He also experiences persistent panic attacks and has difficulty in relationships.

But it’s okay to be emotional and express your feelings. Despite how my anxiety makes me feel, I take deliberate effort to connect with others and talk about my feelings with my loved ones,” says Dean.

A recent 2021 study has found that men tend to be as emotional as women. However, due to social programming and dysfunctional stereotypes, men refrain from sharing those emotions and grow up suppressing their feelings, which can lead to several mental and emotional health issues.

In fact, recent research has observed that “Some men maintained a desire to be independent, rejecting the need for social support,” while “others experienced difficulties in mobilizing support from existing connections.”

Related reading: 10 Ways Men Can Crack the Code of Their Feelings

If someone considers you weak for having feelings or struggling with men’s mental health problems, then you don’t need such toxic people in your life.

Regardless of what society might tell you about the unacceptability of men’s emotions, you don’t need to fall victim to cultural norms, says Dean.

Don’t fall for such toxic gender stereotypes against men. Expressing your emotions is not a sign of weakness, rather it is a sign of strength as it takes courage to be vulnerable before someone else. Don’t let your fear of repercussions and anxiety dictate your life,” suggest Dean.

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Theo Harrison

Hey there! I am just someone trying to find my way through life. I am a reader, writer, traveler, fighter, philosopher, artist and all around nice guy. I am outdoor person but heavily into technology, science, psychology, spiritualism, Buddhism, martial arts and horror films. I believe in positive action more than positive thinking.View Author posts