The biggest problem associated with mental health issues is the stigma associated with them. A mere reference to meeting with a mental health professional is scary for some.
Thanks to their upbringing, men in our society have always been told to be strong. Discussing mental health issues can seem to be a blow against this expectation.
But things are changing now. We are becoming more and more vocal about mental health issues in men.
Let us discuss how to deal with mental health issues in a man entrapped in pseudo-cultural beliefs.
A man cannot be an emotional
In India, every eight people has mental health issues. Depression and anxiety affect more than 90 million people in India. If we talk about man, the situation is more grave. Men’s mental issues often remain unrecorded. Men rarely seek treatment for mental health. They consider alcohol as their friend for countering depression. Still, the prevalence of mental morbidity in males is higher than in females.
Our society pictures man as someone who cannot break physically and emotionally. A man cannot cry. Society tells men that it’s simply not acceptable to have too many feelings. A man never needs help. He cannot show his weaknesses to others. But isn’t this unfair? Men are rarely given space to talk about their mental health issues. The cultural expectations make it difficult for them to share their feelings and put undue pressure on them.
Men are the physical, financial, and moral support of their families. This myth further builds pressure on men and further pushes them into the depth of mental illnesses.
Common triggers of mental health issues in men:
A lot of triggers can negatively impact mental health in males. Some of them are:
- Family problems
- Relationship problems
- Separation and divorce
- Financial problems
- Work-related stress
- Various medical conditions
- Disease or medical condition in the family
- Substance abuse and alcoholism
Common Mental Health issues amongst Men:
Depression in males often remains undetected. More than six million men suffer from depression every year. Men respond to depression by turning to substance abuse and showing signs of aggression.
Men also suffer from anxiety disorders. Five in ten men suffer from panic attacks and other phobias. Some common symptoms of anxiety disorders are:
- Muscle pain
- Sleeping issues
Men are also susceptible to bipolar disorder. Symptoms of bipolar disorder include:
- Manic episodes
- Greater aggression
- Substance abuse
Schizophrenia is more common in males than females. The symptoms of schizophrenia include:
- Disorganized thinking
If these mental health issues are not adequately dealt with in males, they become more prone to substance and alcohol abuse. Sometimes these issues may lead to suicidal tendencies.
How to take care of mental health issues in males?
We should give importance to men’s mental health issues as physical health. Continuously neglecting mental health issues can further deepen the issue. Friends and family members should also know the symptoms of mental health issues so that they can help the men in seeking help from a professional. Attention to actions like unwanted arguments, addictions, and impatience can give a hint to mental health issues.
Improving mental health and wellbeing in men
These five steps can be stepping stones in dealing with mental health issues:
- Connect with your friend and family: A strong bond with family members and friends can instil a sense of belonging and self-confidence.
- Be physically active: Being active not only helps with physical health but improves mental health. Exercises release chemicals that elevates the mood
- Learn new skills: Learning new skills can boost confidence and can develop a sense of purpose.
- Give to others: An act of kindness toward others can create a sense of satisfaction and helps in connecting with other people
- Live in present: A philosophy of living in a present helps unnecessary apprehensions about the uncertainties in the future.
- Self- care
- Eat a healthy diet
- Get adequate sleep
- Do regular exercise
Mental health issues can affect men and women equally. But men often ignored these or hide them in the veil of pseudo masculinity. If the men in your family are suffering from mental health issues support them and persuade them to seek professional help.