The Silent Scream: Unmasking Male Depression and Suicide
Why is men's mental health ignored?
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room – male depression and suicide. Why is men’s mental health treated like Voldemort in Harry Potter, something so terrifying we dare not speak its name? It’s high time we stop ignoring this shit and start taking it seriously.
The Ugly Truth
Here’s a bitter pill: men are more likely to have depression and commit suicide than women. Yeah, you heard it right. In our society, it’s perfectly fine for a woman to spill her guts about her feelings and seek help for her mental health. But when a guy does the same, he’s told to “man up” and “deal with it.” What a load of bull, right?
Men are expected to be these emotionless robots, always strong, stoic, and in control. But guess what? Men are human too, and they’re just as susceptible to mental health issues as women are. One in eight men will experience depression, and one in five will experience anxiety.
The Grim Statistics
Let’s talk numbers. Men are twice as likely to commit suicide as women in the United States. On average, there are 130 suicides daily, and white males accounted for nearly 70% of suicide deaths in 2020. If that doesn’t scream, “we have a problem,” I don’t know what does.
Digging Deeper: The Root of the Problem
The biggest issue with men’s mental health is that it’s seen as a sign of weakness. Men are taught to bottle up their emotions, leading to resentment, anger, and eventually, a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. This emotional constipation can also lead to substance abuse and other destructive behaviors.
Let’s take a look at the wounded masculine. Due to societal stigmas and trauma, men aren’t taught HOW to feel and express themselves. Many don’t even have someone to confide in to feel heard. They chalk it up to being stubborn or “just how they are.” But that’s the very thing that begins to eat them alive inside.
Practical Advice: How to Express Emotions
Men, it’s time to break the mold. Start by acknowledging your feelings. It’s okay to feel sad, angry, or anxious. These are normal human emotions, and it’s healthy to express them. Find a safe space where you can talk about your feelings without judgment. This could be a trusted friend, a family member, or a mental health professional.
Men vs. Women: The Mental Health Battle
Although men and women experience mental health issues at similar rates, some key differences exist. Women are more likely to internalize their feelings and become depressed, while men are more likely to externalize their feelings and become angry or aggressive. Women are also more likely to seek help for their mental health issues than men are.
The Stigma Around Men’s Mental Health
Another reason men’s mental health is often ignored is its stigma. There is a perception that mentally healthy people are weak and mentally unhealthy people are crazy. This stigma leads many people—men in particular—to believe that they should be able to deal with their mental health issues independently, without help from others.
The Power of Emotions
Understanding the power of emotions is crucial in addressing men’s mental health. We need to break down the barriers that stop men from seeking help. We must destigmatize mental illness and clarify that men can express their emotions.
Encouragement: You’re Not Alone
Remember, you’re not alone in this. There are many men out there who are going through the same struggles. Reach out to them. Join support groups or online communities where you can share your experiences and learn from others.
This year, I’ve noticed a more prominent advocacy toward men’s mental health. Networks such as NGNB and Network for Men by Ian Hill are bringing awareness to male suicide and a voice to possibly save a life.
Enough talk. It’s time to take action. If you’re struggling with mental health issues, don’t be afraid to seek help. Check out the Unmask guide and start your journey towards healing today.