“I just need to get over it and not let it bother me” or “I don’t think
Due to such beliefs and ideas, men are much less likely to seek support or treatment. This reasoning may help explain why men have lower rates of diagnosed depression; however, suicide rates are three to four times higher in men compared to women. Knowing this, how do we help men reach out for support?
Firstly, we need to be aware of the signs of mental health difficulties. Men and women may experience the same mental health conditions at various times, although men might show different signs and symptoms. Rather than seeking treatment for a specific condition such as depression, men are more likely to engage in maladaptive coping behaviours including turning to alcohol or drug use. Depression in men can also be characterized through anger and irritability in addition to expressions of sadness. Knowing how men might show signs of mental illness and the associated risk factors is required to seek or encourage support.
Secondly, it is crucial to be aware of the harmful stereotypes associated with the idea of masculinity, which serves as a barrier for men in seeking help. As human beings of all genders, we experience emotions, which at times might be complex and challenging to organize and make sense of on our own. Expressing emotion or vulnerability does not equate to weakness. As humans, we are a social species, and we thrive collectively. Discussing our difficulties with others and having a support system help to provide a sense of relief and understanding.
Lastly, it is essential to remember that you are not alone. If you are struggling emotionally yourself or are concerned about someone, know that you are not alone in experiencing such difficulties, and you do not bear the load in silence. Whether its offering support to someone by listening, talking to a family member or friend, or reaching out to a therapist who you can build a non-judgemental and trustworthy relationship with, knowing you are not alone is a vital step in finding support
Edgar Prudco is a therapist at the Centre