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Man Up

Mental health is an essential component of overall well-being, and just like physical health, it needs to be given the utmost importance. However, unfortunately, mental health, especially men's mental health, is often ignored or neglected. Mental health issues can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or race, however, studies show that men are less likely to seek help for their mental health problems than women. This is partly because of the societal expectations and stereotypes associated with masculinity, which often discourage men from talking about their emotions and seeking help.


Stigma and embarrassment


The stigma around mental health issues is particularly strong among men, who are expected to be strong, stoic, and unemotional. This toxic masculinity perpetuates the idea that men should not show weakness or vulnerability and that seeking help is a sign of weakness. As a result, men often suffer in silence, not wanting to appear weak or be judged by their peers. Men often feel embarrassed for their mental trials, the idea of being beaten by their own mind is something that we feel shouldn't happen, and as much as we feel alone, the statistics of men that all feel the same is all too evident.


35.2% of men think they had a diagnosable mental health condition at some point in their life. A fifth of men (19.5%) have been diagnosed for mental health conditions confirmed by professionals. Three-quarters of registered suicide deaths in the UK in 2020 were for men

Ignoring men's mental health issues can have severe consequences. Studies show that men are more likely to die by suicide than women, partly because men are just less likely to seek help for their mental health issues at all. Men are also more likely to engage in risky behaviours, such as substance abuse and self-harm. With all this evidence and the overwhelming amount of statistics on the mental condition of men, how is it that they feel so quiet, and unheard? It's not that men don't want help, it's that we don't know how to ask for it. Men suffer from a lot of pressures in their social and professional life that aren't addressed or talked about. The expectation to provide and have something to show for at every minute of every day, the expectation to be courteous and careful, the expectation to be smart and strong. Is there any surprise that a large percentage of men feel they have a diagnosable mental issue?


Another problem that contributes to the neglect of men's mental health is the lack of awareness and understanding of men's mental health issues. Many people, including healthcare professionals, still have a limited understanding of mental health issues that affect men. This can lead to misdiagnosis, inadequate treatment, or no treatment at all. It's not to say that people aren't aware of it, and act as if nothing is going on associated with the topic, but there's no push for the development of helping men with these issues. The aid and effort put into female mental health issues can't translate equally to men, the same practices can't relate, and there's no special treatment, no specific practice for men, and it's this they're lacking.


Assessing and Accepting


The need to break down the stereotypes and stigma associated with men's mental health issues is evident. We need to create a culture that encourages men to talk about their emotions and seek help when they need it. The trend of men staying quiet and creating a veil around themselves to keep their issues inside and not show, isn't just unhealthy for them, but the whole of society. These men are working, caring individuals, who all have their own contributions to life as we know it. They all have family, friends and communities they associated with, and it's difficult to know these things are happening right now, and there are still some men that will not make it through their pain.


Men's mental health issues are often ignored or neglected, leading to severe consequences. The stigma associated with mental health issues and toxic masculinity perpetuates the idea that men should not show weakness or vulnerability, discouraging men from seeking help. This can lead to untreated mental health issues, which can have significant impacts on their personal and professional lives. We need to break down the stereotypes and stigma associated with men's mental health issues, raise awareness, and provide education on how to recognize and seek help for mental health problems. Healthcare professionals should be trained to recognize and treat men's mental health issues effectively, and more accessible and affordable mental health services should be made available. By addressing these issues, we can improve men's mental health and create a culture that encourages men to prioritize their mental well-being, and not push it away.

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