Top Tips For Men’s Mental Health
Men’s mental health is often overlooked, but men must take their well-being seriously. Anyone can struggle with anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues, but men can face unique challenges. Ideas about masculinity can make it harder to seek help, so here are some tips to overcome that and look after your mental well-being.
Explore, Understand, And Reject Gender Roles And Societal Expectations
For most men, societal expectations and gender roles are put onto us from the moment we exist. Even before we’re born, traditional gender roles start to affect our lives, from what color our parents paint the nursery to the toys we’re bought. This might seem harmless, but these expectations can negatively shape our lives.
Men are often expected to be seen as vital, show a lack of emotion, be dominant, or be the breadwinner of their household.
Even if your parents didn’t push these expectations on you, you are going to internalize some of these expectations from media, films, school, friends, and family.
Wanting to feel in control isn’t a bad thing, but relying on these traditional ideas of what it is to be a man can harm mental health. Conforming to pressure can be linked to poor mental health in men. These pressures can make men feel as though they can’t express their emotions, so they are less likely to recognize mental health problems in themselves and are less likely to find support. Most stressed men won’t talk about it with their friends or family, while the rest internalize and pretend everything is fine. As well as pressure from expectations, this reluctance could also be down to embarrassment. Depression in men can be linked to a lower testosterone level (which can be supported with testosterone replacement therapy), making it even harder to ask for help when you need it.
It’s important to put less pressure on yourself to conform to what society sees as manly and be conscious of when you bow to the stereotype and try to see if you can change it. Stop holding other men to these standards, too, as this only allows stereotypes to continue.
Whether you talk to your parents, friends, partner, or a counselor, you must try to find someone that you can speak with honestly if you’re struggling with mental health or any other health issue that is weighing on your mind. If you don’t have someone that you feel you can talk to or would prefer to speak to someone anonymously, there are free phone or online services that you can try.
Be There For Other Men In Your Life
If you see someone you know, such as a friend or a colleague, appearing to struggle, try to offer them some support and a listening ear, even if it makes you feel awkward to do so. Every time you do this, the expectation that men should find the courage and keep quiet about their worries will seem more outdated and less helpful.
Focus On Being Yourself, Not Just A Man
When you’re going about your daily life, try to stay aware of your actions and see if you find yourself doing things to seem more manly, such as trying to tell more manly stories than your mates when you’re not, driving too fast, drinking too much, down talking women, or avoiding anything feminine just out of principle.
It takes a lot of strong character and determination to stay away from social norms and expectations to be true to yourself, but it is well worth the effort.
Learn How To Ask For Help
Not knowing how to ask for help is a big issue for many men in all areas of health. Most men, for example, don’t seek access to talking therapy services to seek help for anxiety and depression.
Some men will avoid going to the GP for an illness, and many others will refuse to accept, acknowledge, or work on any mental health struggles they may be having. This avoidance issue doesn’t help anyone, especially not the men in question.
Next time you feel that you are physically or mentally unwell, you should not hesitate to call your doctor and get the help you need. If you ignore a problem, things can only get a lot worse and won’t just go away.