Restorations Therapy Blog

The Stigma Surrounding Men & Their Mental Health

by on Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

The Stigma Surrounding Men & Their Mental Health

All around the world, there are high rates of suicide and low rates of diagnosed depression with men in particular. Social and cultural factors contribute to the stigma around mental illness in men. Ideals and fabricated notions of masculinity are the biggest culprits for shaming men into not seeking help.

Learning what causes men to be reluctant in seeking help for mental health issues can give a proper direction regarding how to fix the problem. Small steps can make a difference for those suffering in silence and lead to a long-term change.

Men’s Depression Symptoms

It can be hard to detect depression symptoms in men if you don’t know what to look for. Common symptoms that society looks for include silence, isolation, sadness, and grief. However, these are mostly associated with women and the way women experience depression.

Men deal with depression differently, which can cause people to overlook it. In the early stages of depression, men tend to express more anger and irritability, act more aggressively, make impulsive decisions, and use unhealthy coping skills to escape the heaviness.

These early symptoms can lead to withdrawing from society, not participating in normal social activities, and having a strong feeling of hopelessness.

Ideas of Masculinity & Men’s Social Norms

The idea of “what makes a man” leaves little room for vulnerability. Talking about emotions—especially those pertaining to sadness and depression—is looked down upon by mainstream society. Men are taught that crying and displaying emotions makes them less manly and strong.

Achievements are the main measure of a man in today’s working society. How much money a man makes, how successful his career is, and how much a man can provide for his family, are the standards by which men are judged. These expectations are so high for men, though, that they are often impossible to reach.

Men may start to feel helpless and lost, but they often only discuss problems concerning work or sex because they do not want to look weak.

Most men are unaware of what resources are available to help with mental and emotional concerns in their lives. Many tend to simply suffer in silence. The negativity then builds and builds, often leading to high suicide rates. In fact, 80% of suicides in the United States are men.

Encouraging Men to Get Treatment

Changes must be made in the way society treats men concerning mental health and mental illnesses. Society must evolve to the point that men can seek help for mental illness and feel completely normal. At this point, not enough men are receiving the help they need to have a high quality of life. In fact, six million men are affected by depression annually, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Changing the terminology used in psychology can make counseling more accessible to men. Education systems as a whole must also change. Adolescents, teenagers, young adults, and adults should be taught that depression is not uncommon and seeking help for it is normal. Strong community networks can help be a big help in making this societal change.

Seeking out help for concerns in your life is not weak. It is normal to feel helpless and stressed, given the amount of pressure society places on men. It is better to reach out than to consistently feel like getting through every day is a struggle. Reach out to the friendly staff at Restorations Recovery at (720) 446-6585 to discuss your needs and concerns today.

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