Men & Mental Health
While mental illnesses affect both men and women, the prevalence of mental illnesses in men is often lower than women. Men with mental illnesses are also less likely to have received mental health treatment than women in the past year. However, men are more likely to die by suicide than women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recognising the signs that you or someone you love may have a mental disorder is the first step toward getting treatment. The earlier that treatment begins, the more effective it can be.
I was made aware recently by a male family member however they don’t feel this way but he could see how sometimes men may feel the fear of people perceiving them as weak if they are open about there struggles around mental health. Some of the statements over the years like “grow a set of balls” and “Man up” come to mind all these add to the stigma around men and mental health. What some people tend to forget is even though they have testicles they are human too!
We need to let the guys know that their feelings matter too, think about it this way what if a guy said to you that you should woman up? That your feelings aren’t as important as a mans oh wait does this sound familiar like before when woman weren’t allowed to vote, we argue that women should be on the same pay as men yet when it comes to mental health we set ourselves apart again. Ask yourself this are we stuck in the dark ages when it comes to men and mental health well surprise-surprise it’s the 21st century and men matter too lets look and mental health equal rights because regardless of gender mental health affects us all at some point in our lives.
Ways you can help yourself
- Talking to someone you trust, a close friend or family member, maybe even your doctor/therapist
- Considering why you find it uncomfortable asking for help and whether those reasons are actually stopping you from getting the support you need
- Reading more about mental health and the varied guidance and advice that is easily accessible (online articles maybe?)
- Maybe consider what are your weapons in this fight (i.e. the ways you combat poor mental health) – it could be anything from regular exercise to spending time with friends (for me, creative writing helps to lift me during the darker days)
- Finding stories and case studies that will help you understand what other men have been through
- Getting involved in the great campaigns and activities that raise awareness of mental health – look campaign State of mind which is about men’s mental health which will give you a sense of empowerment