Men's Mental Health Vol #5

favoring this gender for today’s edition

Hey Readers, 
Sending you warm greetings from a cold, icy Toronto ❄️ After some recent discussions with my male friends, I realized it was time I learn and address an issue which is all so well known: Stigma around Men’s Mental Health. Hope you can share & apply this in your daily life with your brother, father, uncle, male friend! 🌱
Best, Vidhi 

We will cover the following:

  • Why men struggle 🙊

  • Myths & some insights 🛐

  • Resources to get help ☀️

👨 The preset:

For centuries, women have been viewed as the “sensitive” gender while men have been marked as the “fearless”. Toxic masculinity is what gets conditioned in childhood by family, friends, and society — projecting anger over sadness, using phrases such as “man up”, “don’t cry” or even “you throw like a girl” are pre-setters to what we witness today in men. Unfortunately, the dismissal of feelings and gender-defined thinking leads to young individuals learning to avoid expression and bottling up sadness.

This in turn causes them to project their feelings into some other varieties of emotions. It might show up as increased fatigue, irritability, anger, and sleep disturbances. Self-medication via drugs or alcohol becomes an easy escape. Substance abuse and addiction are 3 higher in men than women.

Women get sad 😢, but men get mad 😡

🇮🇳 South Asian men are used to hearing these, which might be detrimental.

😳 Sociocultural Barriers:

Masculinity norms:

  • Self-reliance

  • Difficulty in expressing emotions

  • Self-control

The above become some common traits in men, which get conditioned all the way into their adulthood. Though younger men today are trying to change the norm and accepting help.

🆘 Statistics:

2021: Men account for more than 75% of suicides in North America 🇺🇸 🇨🇦 . Middle-aged men (40-60) die by suicide more than anyone else, including young people and women (link)

2021: 70% of calls to the 🇮🇳 Indian Mental Health helpline were from men (link)

Women tend to seek help at earlier stages of depression, while men tend to delay this till it almost becomes almost impossible

🤔 Depression in Men is different than Women

What do I mean by this? Same disorder, different behaviors. (Link)

Wolfgang Rutz, a psychiatrist in the 90s coined the term “male depression” and developed a screening tool to identify the difference.

Male menopause is also a thing and can have a huge impact on their mental health.

✨ How to express better?

🌱 When is it time to seek help?

Preventative: It is important for every individual to have a peer support group, which might not be usual for men. A safe space for them to share their feelings too. Meditation, therapy, or coaching could help greatly

Symptoms for Depression/Anxiety: Angry, irritable, on the edge, loss of interest (List here). If you think it’s this, psychotherapy and some resources I’m adding below that might help

🔗 Resources:

  • The Rock opening up about his Mental Health & journey:

  • If you’re in India: Link of resources 🇮🇳

Coaching, community and events for 28$ a month

Peer-to-peer community to help men feel more connected

Men’s wellness startups opens up tele psychiatry for 59$ per visit. They also have group therapy sessions for cheaper

Mental and Emotional Coaching for Men

  • A beautiful ad campaign to raise awareness ✨ :

🤝 In the end, if you’re a man ensure you ask other men in their life if they’re okay, give them the space to express. And if you’re a women, don’t pester to express but ensure you should your support. (Link on how to)🎗