“All day staring at the ceiling, making friends with shadows on my wall. All night hearing voices telling me, that I should get some sleep. But I’m not crazy, I’m just a little impaired.”
Hold on! If these are the lines you can relate to, then you are at the right place. Being a man is not all plain sailing. When it comes to earning daily bread, although a lot of women are doing it but the man doesn’t seem to have the possibility to quit. They are told right from the beginning to man-up, be sturdy, crack on and cold-blooded. And to exacerbate the things, they are expected to fit in the “man-box”. It seems they just breeze through life but it’s not as peachy as it appears.
Aren’t man just supposed to grin and bear it?
Well...this is nothing but toxic masculinity. Since National Men’s Health Month is round the corner, we need to acknowledge that mental illnesses are a thing, they’re substantial and we need to talk about them. Just because society doesn’t understand it, doesn’t mean it isn’t so. There is no health without mental health. There’s no point in building muscles if you are mentally unfit. In actual fact, if a person has below par mental health then he’s prone to chronic physical problems.
So the question is, are you putting as much care into your mental health as you do in the maintenance of your musculature?
As per the reports of Mental Health America, every year 6 million men are affected by depression in US. Nevertheless it often goes undiagnosed due to the social stigma attached to it. The idea that only women can suffer problems is erroneous. “Men just deal with it differently”. Unlike women they may seem grumpy or bad-tempered. Rather than seeking help men turn to alcohol, drugs or substance abuse. Men are two to three times more likely to misuse drugs than women.
Annually 62,000 men as compared to 26,000 women die from alcohol related causes. Taking into consideration that 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience a mental health issue, it’s critical to understand that it’s a treatable illness and not a sign of fragility. It’s absolutely terrifying to suffer in silence. Research indicates that mental illness like depression is associated with increased risk of suicide. Those who do take their own life may feel overwhelmed seeking release from torment.
When it comes to suicide, gender disparity is at peak. More than 4 times as many men as women die by suicide. Depression and suicide are ranked as leading causes of death among men, and yet they are still far less likely to seek treatment than women. There’s a thing about mental illness, you will never feel you’re” sick enough”. So don’t consider your mental health a hush-hush affair and speak up. Don’t let orthodox societal expectations and traditional gender roles come your way. Next time if your inbox is flooded with emails or you’re rushing to next work meeting, rather than becoming bundle of nerves relax, there’s more to life. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or any other sort of mental ailment find the right medication and counseling. Reaching out is a sign of strength.
We all need recognition and acknowledgement to carry us through adversity. None of this is new but the mistake that we commit repeatedly is, we wait for that ”spare time”. Go ahead and look at your calendar, when is that free time?
The reality is most of us don’t have extra moment in our day so we need to plan it and make conscious efforts to appreciate men in our lives. We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.