Men and women often experience the same kind of mental health issues, but the difference is that men are much less likely to talk about their struggles and feelings. Misconceptions about masculinity and the prejudices faced by men seeking help with a mental health disorder persist.
Men typically avoid talking about sadness, depression, or stress because they are uncomfortable with their vulnerability. They want to appear strong, physically, and mentally, and especially not to complain. So many do not seek help for their depression
When they ignore or ignore their mental health issues, the resulting lack of communication can worsen their condition and worsen their mental health problems.
Men’s Mental Health Conditions
The state of men’s mental health has reached a critical point in our history. It is, therefore, time to develop national strategies to meet the needs of the growing number of men with mental health problems.
Myths related to mental health are widespread. In addition, men who seek help with a mental condition are more stigmatized as it is often seen as a sign of weakness.
Indeed, according to this myth, “real men” do not ask for help and do not bring up taboo subjects like anxiety and depression.
Men often face another stigma from their male counterparts: Those who experience mental health problems put a strain on those who don’t since men should be able to control and manage their feelings.
Regardless of the stigma involved, we must stop humiliating men into believing they are incompetent when they express a desire for help with their mental health issues.
Without support and empathy, men will continue to suffer in silence, and their mental disorders will worsen.
So what can you do to defend men’s right to mental health?
Addressing men’s mental health challenges.
When we examine our individual capacity to support and facilitate change, we realize that there are several things we can do to influence men’s mental health opinion.
By becoming the allies of those who need help or who ask for help, we offer them a safe, impartial, and united support network.
One of the foremost challenges when it comes to helping men deal with their mental health problems is encouraging them to speak confidently and openly about their issues.
Men are generally conditioned not to talk about their emotions or to act emotionally. As a loved one, you should always be on the lookout for signs and symptoms that may indicate a man around you is having mental health problems.
Although short-lived changes in behavior are common and do not immediately cause alarm, if these changes persist and last longer than two to four weeks, it may be a sign of a mental health disorder.
Here are some signs that may signify the presence of a mental health problem:
- Personality change: they have mood swings and show excessive anger, hostility, or violent behavior; they are unable to cope with minor problems and go about their daily business.
- They experience excessive anxiety or are depressed for long periods of time. They are no longer interested in hobbies or social activities they previously engaged in.
- They use more alcohol, medication, or drugs, and it starts to affect their work and their personal lives.
- You notice a noticeable difference in their ability to think clearly and to articulate their thoughts cohesively.
- Their sleeping and eating habits have changed a lot (they eat more or less than usual and therefore seem more tired and irritable).
- They may have strange or grandiose ideas, delusions or hallucinations, and even suicidal thoughts or words.
- Depressed men also sometimes isolate themselves, refusing to participate in family dinners or with friends, or even withdrawing to listen to music or surf the Internet.
Please note that these signs may also constitute symptoms of physical illness. It is, therefore, important not to make a diagnosis and to consult a doctor, a qualified health professional, or a physical or mental health counselor. What can you do if you notice some of the signs and symptoms mentioned above?
Promote men’s mental health.
The worst enemy of people with depression is silence around everything related to mental illness. We must therefore speak openly to them. Now that you have a better understanding of the mental health challenges men face and the different signs and symptoms they can experience, what can you or your business do to promote men’s mental health?
- Get informed. First, you need to understand what men face when it comes to their mental health. Local men’s health organizations can help you learn more.
- Ask him what you can do. It can be difficult for anyone to talk about their mental health issues. By asking what you can do, you can begin to provide adequate support.
- Listen to it. It takes a lot of nerve to talk about your mental health. Listening is one of the most potent ways to help someone because it allows them to think and talk about their difficulties.
- Don’t blame them, and don’t judge them. By judging and condemning them, you only make matters worse and may prevent them from talking about it or asking for help. The best support you can provide is to be empathetic and compassionate.
- Direct him/her to the appropriate resources. You can advise them to seek help through the Employee and Family Assistance Program, local support groups, a counselor, or a therapist. Although you cannot determine the severity of his case, it is vital to make sure he is safe and aware of his options, including treatment offered by in-house and out-patient centers. But make sure you always ask him what he thinks about it first.
- Be optimistic and encouraging. Reassure them that it is a medical problem and that they are not the only ones suffering from it. Whenever possible, please offer your support and make it easier for them to access treatment and the time they need to attend appointments.
- Take care of yourself. You won’t be capable of helping anyone if you are emotionally exhausted yourself. Above all else, protect your own physical and mental health.
Men are not the only ones who suffer from the stigma attached to mental health, but they may be reluctant to discuss their problems or seek help because of their conditioning.
We must act as quickly as possible. Unlike women, men tend to react when they’re at their wit’s end. They should therefore not be left alone, because they can be dangerous for themselves (especially if they have suicidal thoughts), and for others (when they adopt avoidant behaviors.
As a society, we can together fight the stigma about mental health and encourage people to discuss their issues openly. The more at ease we are talking about it, the better our company will be. Help the men around you by standing up for their rights, explaining mental health myths, and standing up for them when they are most vulnerable.