Men and Mental Health: 5 Toxic Stereotypes We Need to Talk About In a recent study of trends, it's been found that men are more reluctant than women to seek help for the mental health problems they are facing. The question that remains is, why is this a part of our reality? The main reason behind this is because of the ever-present notion of toxic masculinity in the roots of our society and the scarcity of men's mental health awareness campaigns. Even today, we do not know a lot about help-seeking and the diversity of experiences among men who suffer from depression, anxiety issues, thoughts about suicidal ideation or other mental health problems.
The Stigma around Men’s Mental Health
With so much evidence of the reluctance toward supporting men's mental health problems. The common assumption is men are less likely to get assistance for their mental health problems than women from medical professionals.
There are many reasons behind help-seeking and the service used for men who suffer from health problems. The men who do try to seek medical help for their issues are often attributed to the traditional toxic-masculine norms, such as successful, strong, capable, self-reliant, and most importantly, avoiding their emotional experiences, etc. These masculine norms have had a huge impact on men's attitudes toward mental health problems and have stopped them from seeking any help. Also, a lot of men must have been told that their depression is "incompatible" with the traditional societal roles. Why? Because many people still believe emotional experiences and depression are feminine terms.
Even today, depression and anxiety issues are accompanied by the feeling of powerlessness and lack of control. And to society, how can a man become powerless and vulnerable?
When it comes to receiving help, men's mental health stigma is associated with being marginalized and mocked as an "unmanly" thing.
MAN-UP Is Not An Option
Then there is a term called "MAN-UP!"
One of the many expressions that are used for all the wrong reasons. To many around the world, the entire concept of mental health can be simply avoided by acting more "like a man". And it is completely wrong. Is men's mental health ignored? So many times. Men's mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia are no less or more based on anyone's gender.
So many men's mental health organizations are spreading information on how support and services are not based on discrimination between genders. Men should and are entitled to the same help and respect as women.
So many men have managed to tackle their mental health problems because of the awareness we have now. The only thing needed is support and strength to endure mental health problems. Also, so many campaigns, social media pages, and podcasts for men's mental health have come out to help.
But why are all these stereotypes created?
Men's Mental Health Stereotypes
Many statistics about men's mental health indicate that more men aged between 16 and 35 have thought about harming themselves or, worse, ending their life. More than half of them believe that male stereotypes around men's mental health services are causing real psychological harm to them. Suicide rates have also gone extremely high in the last decade alone. All because of the toxic male stereotypes.
There still needs to be a lot of work done to understand the real needs of men and to help make sure they have complete mental health access.
Find some common stereotypes about men's mental health:
Act Tough - Many still believe a guy who does not fight back is no better than a girl. Seriously? To fit into the traditional toxic stereotypes, men have to constantly act strong and not feel nervous.
Attractiveness - So many people prefer it when men do not spend too much time on their looks. But on the other hand, everyone wants someone who looks good and is successful.
Self-sufficiency - Men should not talk about emotions or feelings. If they do, they are weak. Figuring out personal problems is the job of a real man.
Hypersexuality - The more partners a man has, the better he is. And a true man can never say no to sex.
Gender Roles - Men should not do any household work, and they should be the only financial provider in the family.
What Can Be Done to Change These Stereotypes?
How to improve men's mental health? I and many must believe that there has never been a better time to seek help for mental health issues and to be entirely accepted for being you.
To completely get better, one should remember to accept themselves entirely. Suffering from mental health problems can feel like the worst step in your journey. But with time, it can lead to becoming the best and easiest step of your life. There are many ways to tackle this challenge:
Try Talking - Find someone you can trust, a close friend or family member.
Consideration - This can be hard. You will need to consider why asking for help feels scary to you. These can be the biggest reasons why you feel you can not ask for the support you need.
Read More - The more you read on mental health and gather advice and guidance steps, the better the journey will become for you. You will also find stories. These will help you understand how other men fought their mental health problems.
Support Groups - You will find so many people trying to help you through this tough time. Many people are open to anyone. Support groups will also help you get involved with new masculinity and men's mental health activities and campaigns.
Find Your Weapon - You will need to find a weapon to fight. Of course, to fight your poor mental health. It can be anything, yoga, exercise, reading, writing, and therapy.
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So to speak, men make up a lot of percentages when it comes to being treated for mental health problems. So many men even today think of self-harm before even thinking of finding the right help. Thankfully, we are here to play our part. Now&Me allows you to find comfort, talk openly and share feelings with strangers online. Signup on our platform to make new friends who understand your pain and support you.
1. When Is Men’s Mental Health Month?
The month of November is celebrated as men's mental health awareness month. The same month is also known as no-shave November to show support for their mental health. The rate of suicide in men has grown in the last decade. Additionally, we also need to educate ourselves and others about the problems women and men have been going through for years.
2. How To Support Men’s Mental Health?
There are so many ways you can support men to educate them on how to deal with their feelings, pain, stress, etc. Try talking to them, involve them in creative activities, and try staying away from toxic masculine stigmas.
- Why Is Men's Mental Health Not Taken Seriously? The main reason behind this is toxic masculinity. Men have been socialized to believe that having mental health problems is a sign of weakness and that it is something they should be ashamed of. This is why men carry on pretending it does not exist and do not seek help. Traditional norms have created men’s mental health problems much worse. But a lot of people are trying to change this, and they are educating the coming generation on mental health problems.