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Why is There Still Ignorance Towards Men's Mental Health?

Mental health

According to the the World Health Organization, mental health is "a state of wellbeing in which each individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with everyday stresses, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community"

The World Health Organization (WHO) proposed this description in its study "Mental Health: A State of Well-Being." In order to achieve excellent mental health, it promotes the value of each person's potential, resiliency, productivity, and community engagement. The definition also acknowledges that mental health is a holistic term that includes a person's emotional, psychological, and social well-being and goes beyond simply being free from mental disease

Man up: representation of masculinity in society

Men are less likely than women to talk about or get assistance for their mental health issues, which is partly due to societal expectations and established gender roles. We are aware that women might suffer harm as a result of gender preconceptions about how they should act or seem, for example. Yet, it's crucial to recognise that prejudices and expectations may harm males as well.

Males are frequently expected to provide for their families and to be powerful, dominating, and in charge. These characteristics may not be intrinsically harmful, but they may make it more difficult for males to ask for assistance and to be vulnerable.

According to some studies, men who find it difficult to express their feelings may also find it more difficult to recognise their own signs of mental health issues and less inclined to seek help.

Males may also be less inclined to discuss their mental health with family or friends and more prone to utilise potentially dangerous coping mechanisms like alcohol or drugs (Men and Mental Health 2021).

Men's mental health stigma is a complex issue with roots in social conventions, self-perception, cultural beliefs, and misunderstandings about mental health. Men may find it more difficult to get the necessary aid due to these stigmas (Men's Mental Health Stigma 2022).

Impact on men's mental health

Men's mental health can have a variety of effects. Men can be affected in a variety of ways by mental health concerns, including:

- Males are more likely than females to commit suicide, and mental health conditions might increase a person's chance of doing so.

- Physical health difficulties: Men's physical health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses, can be impacted by mental health issues.

- Work-related problems: Mental health conditions can affect productivity at work, which can result in financial difficulties, job loss, and worsening mental health conditions.

- Relationship issues: Mental health conditions can affect a person's relationships with their spouse, children, and friends, which can cause social isolation and exacerbate mental health conditions.

Men should seek treatment if they are having mental health problems and deal with them holistically, considering how they affect their physical health, their relationships, and their ability to function at work. In order to encourage men to get the care they need when they do, it is equally critical to reduce the stigma associated with mental health disorders.

Overlooked mental health towards men

Men's mental health is still poorly understood for a variety of reasons, including:

- Social standards of masculinity: It is often believed that males should be independent, stoic, and powerful, and that asking for assistance or displaying weakness is a sign of weakness. This may make it more difficult for males to get mental health care.

- Stigma associated with mental health The stigma around mental health disorders persists, which can make it challenging for anyone—including men—to get assistance without feeling criticised or humiliated.

- Lack of knowledge: A lot of individuals, including males, might not be aware of the warning signs and symptoms of mental health problems or know when they need treatment.

- Little research: Men's mental health concerns have historically received less study, which might make it challenging to create efficient interventions and therapies.

- Resources may be lacking, including alternatives for specialised therapy or support groups, when it comes to men's mental health.

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