People of all genders, ages, and origins are impacted by the stigma around mental health. Depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues are frequently not treated as seriously as physical illnesses due to this complicated and pervasive stigma. Mental health issues have long been stigmatized, which has mostly resulted from a lack of awareness of these diseases. For men, this stigma is prone to be more severe and convoluted.

One underlying cause of this issue is our society’s toxic masculinity tendencies. Some males may have a tendency to torture themselves on the inside in order to appear tough on the outside. This is typically done in order to avoid appearing “weak,” which is a quality our culture devalues mostly in men. 

Males often struggle to feel safe enough to reach out and get help for their depression, anxiety, and other problems because they are afraid of being judged and rejected. As a result, men in Canada are three times more likely than women to commit suicide. Men may find it more difficult to get mental health help before they commit suicide, which could be one explanation for this phenomena.

We must keep fighting these stigmas if we want to reverse this imbalance. As a society, we must change the way we think about mental health for people of all sexes. The need for mental health support must be normalized, and all people need to have access to these services. It’s important to understand that, regardless of our age, gender, backgrounds, or other characteristics, mental health issues are unquestionably genuine difficulties that can be incapacitating for anyone suffering them.

If you are a male experiencing mental health struggles, know that you do not have to do it all by yourself. Help is available, and being vulnerable and seeking it is a sign of courage. 

Sara Gharibi, MPsy, RP is a registered psychotherapist at Centre For Interpersonal Relationships. She provides trauma-informed psychotherapy with a focus on mental health of adults who experience social anxiety, generalized anxiety, burn out, depression, and other mental health difficulties as well. Sara provides psychotherapy in English, French, and Farsi.