Did you know there is an International Men’s Day? If you heard this in passing, it’s quite easy to scoff at. You may think: Why do we need a holiday celebrating men? Don’t they get celebrated enough? It’s just another stupid, made-up holiday. Although it is no secret that men have it easier in this world, we must change the narrative. There is a deep-rooted issue within society about how men are supposed to handle and express their emotions. For some reason, men have been taught from a very young age to “toughen up” or to “be a man.” This causes a domino effect on how they grow up and deal with their overall mental health. Mental health already is stigmatized enough as it is, but we are slowly working toward a more understanding society. Despite the progress that has been made in recent years, men are still less comfortable discussing this than women are. Men’s mental health is an issue that can not be overlooked anymore.
Men’s mental health
More than 6 million men suffer from depression per year. More times than not, this ends up going undiagnosed. Depression looks different for everyone. It doesn’t always have to be crying and feeling sad. It can come in the form of feeling worthless or heightened levels of irritability. When you get overwhelmed with work or you aren’t enjoying your typical hobbies like you used to, talk about it with someone. Men feel like they have to hold it all in and repress their emotions, but it is quite the opposite. The more open you are with yourself and your emotions, the more likely you are to seek help when needed. The suicide rate for men has been on the rise since 2000, so much so that it is now the seventh leading cause of death among males.
What can we do?
If you notice a guy friend, family member or even a significant other is drifting away from normal routines, take the time to reach out to them. Even if you just talk to them about their day, it could end up being the step that lets them finally become comfortable with talking about their feelings. My advice for men that are struggling with their mental health is to first and foremost take a deep breath. Take the time to process your emotions and find someone you trust and just walk through your thoughts out loud. It never hurts to talk to someone.
For more ways to manage your mental health, check out this article.