Let us normalize taking care of our Mental Health irrespective of the gender.
You cannot cry because you are man….
Being a man, you cannot have mental health concerns…...
Stop being so weak, you are a man….
MAN UP and put yourself together.
Heard these statements? I feel you. There are a lot of stigmas about how men ‘should behave or feel’, not giving them the onus to express what they really feel.
Mental Health as a topic had not been under discussion for so long. People used to believe (some still do) that what you can see is real and what you cannot see is just hoax. In 2018, the report by WHO portrayed the cultural stigma around mental health, which is the primary obstacle for people admitting and seeking for help. It only came into the limelight when celebrities came out and explained about their mental health and the issues, they faced due to the same.
It was very difficult for people facing mental health concerns to express themselves, let alone go out and seek help. To top this if you are a man, the situation gets even worse as men are expected to be in a certain way and not feel certain things. According to our culture men cannot have any mental health problems as they are ‘supposed’ to be very strong. Our society has also shown the male gender to be a dominant gender, who are focused, strong, determined and oh… who do not CRY. They must put a brave face and move on as if there is nothing wrong. Displaying certain emotions or feelings is usually considered a sign of weakness especially, when it comes to men. Reaching out for help is a different stressor altogether, as they get ‘judged’ and commented upon if they see a psychologist or a psychiatrist. Their case remains undocumented and unreported majority of the times. Let’s reflect upon a question, do we distinguish between different genders when it comes to physical health? No, right, then why do we draw that boundary of discrimination on the basis of gender when it comes to mental health?
Men suffer from various mental health concerns like day-to-day life stressors, work life balance and relationship concerns. They can also experience several grave mental illnesses like depression, high level anxiety, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, OCD and schizophrenia. It was noted that more than six million men suffer from depression, however not even half of these cases get documented. Men try to hide their depression and other mental health concerns by diverging into alcohol and drugs, which might in turn lead to its abuse. As very few men express and reach out for help, there are many cases of men attempting suicide due to various mental health concerns. According to the report in 2018 (documented by Times Of India), 250 men die by suicide daily in India. We can only imagine the statistics worldwide.
We forget men are humans too. They can not feel well, can feel weak, can feel the need for help and it’s completely OKAY. This awareness needs to start at home, we need to start educating everyone at home that men too have emotions and can feel weak. It’s okay to cry, it’s normal to not take the responsibility of everything and take care of their mental health and well-being. Let’s start by educating children around us, so the further generation does not experience the discrimination when it comes to mental health. Another important thing is empowering the men to go and reach out for professional help. Creating awareness through media could encourage men to seek help. Reaching out for professional help will give them that safe space and the feeling that they are heard too. Let’s make the space inclusive for men to be okay and take care of their mental health too. Let us NORMALIZE TAKING CARE OF OUR MENTAL HEALTH IRRESPECTIVE OF THE GENDER.
Written By - Miloni Thosani
Your mental health matters as much as your physical health. Don't hesitate to take a step towards your mental well-being. If you’re looking at talking to a professional, book your Initial Consultation with us on https://www.themoodspace.com/freeconsultation or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Take a step towards bettering your mental wellbeing because you deserve it!