Because of the stigma of masculinity surrounding men, men are challenged on how they communicate their mental problems with others. While both men and women experience the same mental disorders, men are less likely to report it because ‘real men’ are known to overcome anything although researches have shown that the number of men diagnosed with mental illness is far more than the number of women. For example, “10% of Canadian men suffer from mental health disorder and from the 4000 Canadians who kill their selves each year, 75% of them are men, mostly Indigenous”.
Due to the stigma of being shamed, it is challenging for men to ask for help which has resulted a critical situation for men’s mental health causing it worsen by time because of the society’s ignorant behavior and lack of empathy towards men. While men are less likely to show any sign of suffering, they function and experience the same pain caused by mental illness as any other person.
It is important to change each individual’s perspective about men’s mental health to create a safe, unbiased and supportive community for men to step forward and talk about their mental issues openly and show emotions without judgment. To be educated more, it is helpful to know more about symptoms and signs of mental disorders in men.
- Extreme mood swings and acting out of normal
- Higher stress and anxiety level than normal
- Excessive alcohol and drug use
- Losing the ability to think clearly
- Different sleeping and eating patterns
These symptoms are normal happening for a short period of time but if it continues for 2-4 weeks it may become worrisome.
To support men it is necessary to:
- Be informed.
- Try to help and ask what you can do.
- Listen to them carefully without judgment or shaming them
- Guide them to appropriate support if needed
- Be optimistic and supportive. Give them hope that encourage them to open up.
- Take care of yourself because you need to stay healthy while taking care of someone else.
To reduce the stigma and support the men in our lives we need to feel comfortable to talk about these matters to change society for better.