How Mental Health Stigma Affects Men

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It’s believed that women are more likely to experience common mental disorders. However, it doesn’t mean that men are immune to mental illness. Men and women are influenced differently by mental health issues. But, symptoms like depression, anxiety, stress, eating disorder, stress, low self-esteem, and other conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are experienced by men too. Factors like social pressure make men harder to open up and discuss their feelings of vulnerability. Equally, bottling up these feelings and resorting to something destructive can makes things worse. Thus, it becomes important to raise awareness of preventable mental health disorders and encourage early detection and treatment of this stigma among men and boys. Further, check out how men stigma affects boys and men.

What is the mental health stigma in men? 

Depression or mental health diseases are usually seen as a woman’s disease. Also, one in four men experience a mental health problem every year and the stigma tendto affect men disproportionately. But generally, men are forced to minimize their depression feelings or stigma due to societal expectations and traditional gender roles.

A mental health crisis in men include

  • Suicidal feelings
  • Extreme anxiety or panic attacks
  • Self-harming behavior
  • Paranoia, hearing voices, or having hallucinations
  • Feeling out of control
  • Risky behavior such as reckless driving

Alcohol and mental health

Some boys suffering from mental health and problems such as anxiety and depression can turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism. For them, getting drunk is often an avoidance strategy used instead of confronting the underlying issues. But they fail to understand that alcohol is a depressant that can heighten their risk of stress and anxiety. However, there’s a strong link between depression and alcohol. Drinking alcohol in a way can increase the frequency and severity of depressive episodes, equally reducing the efficacy of antidepressants.

Nutrition and mental health

Those who experience mental issues like anxiety and depression, avoid the intake the healthy foods and rely more on stimulants like caffeine and sugar. But you must understand that eating well and staying hydrated can help balance the emotional state in men. Moreover, trans fats and foods with partially hydrogenated oils such as cakes and biscuits can negatively impact an individual’s mood. Instead, one must switch to healthy foods with essential fatty acids like nuts, poultry, fish, avocados, etc. All these are important for the proper functioning of the brain.

Tips to manage the mental health in men

  • Experts believe exercise releases chemicals in your brain and make you feel good. Exercise also keeps your mind and other essential organs healthy. Thus, regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and help you feel better.
  • Doing activities that you enjoy can boost your self-esteem.
  • People are sociable by nature and keeping in regular contact with your friends and family is good for your self-esteem.

Closing up

There are many ways to support and mitigate mental health dilemmas. If you experience any of these mental stigmas you must seek medical attention or talk to someone to receive support and advice.

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