Your mental health is an integral part of your overall health and a determinant to live a healthy and fulfilled life. Imagine that you have to complete an essential task at your office, but your mind is sad over your dog’s demise! You will certainly not be able to concentrate on anything fully.
Although the demise of your close ones will leave a long-lasting effect on your life, suffering from a mental illness is a long-term and more profound issue that needs to be diagnosed and treated.
Everyone knows that mental health is crucial for men, but it does not come alone. It carries a plethora of stigmas that were imposed by society. To get rid of them is another battle altogether. Therefore, it’s very important to spread mental health awareness among men who were conditioned in a household where such stigmas are prevalent, and nothing is done to combat them.
Why mental health is crucial for men as well?
Men and mental health is the pair that is often not seen running congruent with each other through the lens of societal conventions. How many men have you met in your life who freely talk about their mental health issues vulnerably? Maybe a few. Or not. Why?
The society that we live in right now has undoubtedly advanced culturally, technologically, and economically, but even today, only a handful of men are ready to talk openly about their mental issues. More often than not, men who want to come out of their shells and talk openly are often demarcated from the social circles on the pretext of being effeminate. As a result, you often hear the phrase, ‘man up’ which is apparently used to motivate a man to deal with his issues.
One can conclude that the colloquial language one uses also plays a very important role in the mind of individuals. When you say, ‘man up, ‘ you are promoting the concept of toxic masculinity, which manifests in the future in radical ways that will harm you and your close ones.
Therefore, instead of using such derogatory language, it’s important to allow your friend or yourself to accept whatever you are feeling at the moment. Understand that once you accept things the way they are, their extremity decreases, and you might feel better.
In addition, talking to your close ones who understand you will also help you find a way out of your situation. And who knows, maybe sharing will also help you unravel that your friend or relative is also suffering through a similar situation. So, talking about men’s mental health is important and the need to eliminate the stigmas attached to it is extremely high.
What happens when you don’t acknowledge men’s mental health awareness?
The stigmatization and the conditioning of a society towards a man make him normalize toxic masculinity, which, believe it or not, spike the number of male suicides to the extent that it has been termed as a ‘silent epidemic.’
Signs of men with bad mental health
Mental illness is a gender-neutral issue; however, men often manifest symptoms of it in a completely different manner than women. Due to traditional beliefs, men often refrain from being vulnerable and talking about what they feel. As a result, they suppress their emotions and become angrier, irritable, and stone-cold.
Men also face some physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive problems, palpitations, etc, when they are suffering from any mental issue. Substance abuse is one of the clear signs of mental illness in men.
Drinking alcohol or consuming drugs might provide you relief for a brief period. However, it will only worsen the situation and make you more depressed and dependent on external things in the long run.
So, how to ensure men’s mental health? Here’s how
Mental health is crucial for men: Spread mental health awareness
One of the most crucial steps to combat mental illness is to spread education regarding mental health in every region. Due to the lack of appropriate infrastructure in rural areas, men face extreme mental health conditions that catapult them into wrecked lives.
Therefore, it’s essential to spread education regarding mental health as it is also one of the effective means to eradicate all the stigmas related to it.
Education wields transformation, and mental health education can help men understand that getting support from other people is not a sign of weakness, and it will surely not make them less of a man as society proposes.
It is healthy and even courageous to be vulnerable as keeping mum often smolders a man from and makes him too toxic to be with.
Mental health education can make a significant difference in a man’s life when it is taught from childhood. It can make them more aware of what they are feeling and why they are feeling.
Another way to teach the sense of belonging and understanding among men regarding mental health is to support community–based programs that reduce the sense of isolation among people dealing with mental health problems.
Here are some mental health tips that will help you keep going in life:
- Do not follow the gender roles that society has imposed on you. You never asked for them in the first place. These traditional gender roles will only smoulder you and do you no good.
- Be courageous enough to be vulnerable. Share your feelings openly and get talking to different people.
- Follow a healthy balanced diet and exercise at least half an hour a day.
- Try to support the men in your life. If they are hesitant to talk about their feelings openly, make them feel comfortable and tell them how important it is to share their feelings and emotions openly.
- Be unapologetically yourself. If you want to do something, then just do it, regardless of what society thinks. Remember, your sex is only determined at birth; your gender is what you decide for yourself.
- It’s okay to ask for help. Asking for help will not make you seem weak or less masculine. It only reflects how determined you are to grow and develop yourself in life. Isn’t that good?
Knowing that mental health is crucial for men is not enough. Real transformation is only possible when grandfathers, fathers, brothers, teachers, and leaders play the role models of real men for the boys today.