In 2017, the rate of men committing suicide was higher than women’s and that is mainly because the number of men suffering from depression is higher than expected and shown by each individual. That is why men tend to misuse drugs and alcohol more than women because the fear and stigma of showing weakness to the society. To keep the masculine image, men tend to rely on toxic masculinity which is how they are raised to be strong and quiet which automatically causes them to avoid asking for help and report their symptoms of depression so instead, as mentioned, they rely on drugs and alcohol. Dr. Raymond Hobbs believes that many men do not want to admit that they are mentally sick and that is because mental health issues are seen as signs of lack of personal fortitude and personal issues so instead of mental issue being treated as a real illness, men feel guilty and ashamed of it.
It is obvious that in terms of reducing the stigma of men’s mental health, men believing that they can fix themselves, either by using drugs and alcohol or ignoring the symptoms, can cause even worse situations for themselves which is why it is important to educate men and encourage them to seek help and realize that everyone can be affected by stress, anxiety and fear and there is no shame in admitting it. Dr. Hobbs also adds that mental problems are medical problems and relying on alcohol and drug not only can make the situation worse, it can also add physical illness such as bleeding problems, changes in brain function and etc.
Many symptoms of depression or mental illness are:
- Mood swings
- Weight changes
- Unusual work performances
- Physical pain
- Loss of pleasure
Moreover the best way to determine whether a loved one is diagnosed with depression or not, is to book a one-time appointment for them to be examined by a professional or encourage them to take part in group session educate them more and make sure they know it is okay to ask for help.