Mental Health Matters: The Importance of Men’s Mental Health
Our mental health is vital to our overall well-being because it affects our thoughts, feelings, and actions. For this reason, everyone is encouraged to do what they can to maintain good mental health. However, many things can overwhelm one’s feelings, and leaving these feelings unchecked can lead to severe mental health symptoms. Of course, this can affect anyone, but men arguably have it worse.
By nature, society expects men to be strong, stoic, and in control of their emotions. This can lead to men feeling like they cannot or should not express their feelings, causing them to repress them. Even worse, mental health issues are seen as a weakness in men, particularly from the older generation. It is 2023 now, and we must do what we can to eliminate mental health stigma in men.
What Causes Mental Health Problems in Men?
Men are generally more likely to experience certain life events that can lead to mental health problems. These events can include a lack of social support, physical or sexual abuse, unemployment, and family conflict. Men are also more likely to deal with depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders due to their tendency to internalize their emotions rather than express them.
Sure, fighting the stigma against mental health for men has significantly improved in recent years, but there is still work to be done. These mental health issues can range from mild to severe and are bound to escalate if left unchecked.
The Role of Toxic Masculinity
Toxic masculinity is primarily to blame for men’s higher prevalence of mental health issues. This is a set of beliefs and behaviors that encourage men to act in a certain way, such as being strong and not expressing emotions. This can lead to various mental health issues, as men are less likely to seek help or express feelings.
For example, if a man opens up about his feelings, he may be seen as weak or unmanly. This can lead to a fear of seeking help, as he may think he will be judged for it. It is even worse if a man opens up about sexual trauma because others around him may say, “he should have been able to handle it” or “men are not supposed to be victims.”
Fighting the Stigma against Men’s Mental Health
The stigma against men’s mental health is still prevalent, so it falls on us to fight and create a safe space for men struggling with mental health issues. This can be done in the following ways:
Education can help people understand the importance of men’s mental health. We need to create more educational resources focusing on how to take care of mental health and support those struggling. This should include information on the signs and symptoms of mental health issues and the available resources and treatments.
Awareness creates a culture of acceptance and understanding. We can do this by talking openly about men’s mental health, sharing stories, and creating campaigns that focus on men’s mental health.
Advocacy also matters because it can create a system that supports men’s mental health. It does not have to be on a grand scale, but just enough so that we advocate for better access to mental health services and improved mental health policies.
Doing these things can create a more open society and understanding of men’s mental health issues. This will help to reduce the stigma against men’s mental health and make it easier for men to seek help.
When to Seek Professional Help
Men put up walls to hide their emotions and feelings, making it hard to recognize when they need professional help. One must be aware of the warning signs and look out for them, especially if the behavior is out of character.
Some of the warning signs to look out for are:
- Feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed
- Experiencing sudden changes in mood or behavior
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Increased irritability or anger
- Having difficulty concentrating or sleeping
- Abusing alcohol or drugs
If you or someone you know is exhibiting any of these signs, you must seek professional help. Mental health professionals can provide support and guidance to help men manage their mental health. For severe cases of men who have suicidal thoughts, you must step in and help them by calling the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline to get immediate help and support. It is worth noting that the old 1-800-273-8255 number is still available, so you can get support regardless of the number that you call.
Men can also suffer mental health problems, and we must recognize the signs to help them get the help they need. While it may take time for them to open up, we must always understand how they feel and let them express themselves whenever they feel comfortable. This way, they can get the help they need and start managing their mental health for a better tomorrow.
Sierra Meadows Behavioral Health provides comprehensive solutions to mental health matters, including outpatient psychiatry. You do not have to suffer alone because we are here to help you through evidence-based options carried out by our therapists. Call us today at (559) 326-7775 to schedule an appointment!