Why Men Need to Open Up about Mental Health Issues

When we usually talk about mental health, depression, and anxiety disorders, we usually imagine a woman. However, according to latest research published by Ford suggests that up to 25 percent of men would not even talk to their friends about their emotions or personal difficulties. There is  an agreement that men deal with mental health issues, loss, breakdown of relationships, and stress in a different way than women, but they experience the same problems. By encouraging mental health support for men at the workplace, Ford is one of the leaders in the industry to focus on this aspect of wellbeing. Below you can find out why men should talk about their feelings and problems just like women.

Social Ties

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Men find it harder to socialize and trust people. They are generally less talkative, and this makes it harder for them to confide in their friends. However, it is important that they talk about their feelings. Those who are isolated are more likely to develop mental health illnesses and unhelpful coping mechanisms. Being a part of a workplace community, volunteering, or simply joining a local sports club can help them create social ties and make sure that they get the support when they are facing crisis situations.

Avoiding Self-Medication

One of the unhelpful stress management methods men often use is turning to substances. From alcohol to tobacco, prescription drugs, and even extreme gambling or sports, there are several ways they can make matters worse. If they see that they are not alone coping with the same problems, and can get advice from people who have been through the same situations, they can be pointed in the right direction and develop better ways of reducing stress and seeking professional help.

Coming to Terms with Sexuality

Minorities are more likely to suffer from mental health illnesses, and this is true for men, as well. Gay men, those from minority backgrounds, and of lower educational level will have limited resources and knowledge to actively seek a solution to their problems. Members of the LGBT community often find it hard to come to terms with their sexuality and accept themselves. On the other hand, many people develop low confidence due to being rejected or cheated on within a relationship. This can lead to several sexual health issues. To help your friend or yourself, check out some useful information on male impotence and the psychological causes.

Seeing Clearer

Having friends around you can trust can improve your ability to see the problems such as debt or relationship breakdowns clearer. Men who have a support network and people they can connect with, rely on, and get help from are less likely to develop serious issues, such as depression, self-harm, or even addiction. It is important that men focus on meaningful peer relationships, instead of friendships that only exist on the surface. Sometimes asking for an advice or a listening ear can help, and men can benefit from friendships in more than one way. They can see their problem from a different angle, and get referrals to professionals if their friends believe they would benefit from the service.

Hiding Emotions

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Men are more likely to hide their emotions than women. They want to appear strong when they are not, and would rather fight than admit that they have a problem. For those who still believe that men shouldn’t cry, it is hard to come to terms with emotional breakdowns, and sometimes friends need to ask several times whether they are ok before they confess. Men dealing with emotional issues often avoid people, and try to solve difficult situations alone.

Trying to Comply with the Stereotypes

One of the reasons why men tend not to open up about their mental health problems is that they don’t want to appear weak and feminine. Those who grew up being the gender stereotypes engraved in their value system will believe that “boys don’t cry”, and men should be the strong ones in every situation. In fact, challenging gender stereotypes is a good way of understanding one’s self better, and doing what is best in a difficult situation.

Whether you are going through a rough patch or are trying to help a friend who is dealing with a difficult situation, it is important to understand that men experience and deal with mental health issues differently. It is important to ask “is everything ok” and encourage meaningful conversations. As minority groups are at a higher risk, it is important to help them express their feelings and find people they can trust, so they can deal with their issues in a helpful way.

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