Breaking Gender Barriers: Expert Decodes The Complicated Relationship Between Men And Mental Health

Breaking Gender Barriers: Expert Decodes The Complicated Relationship Between Men And Mental Health
Breaking The Gender Barrier: Expert Decodes The Complicated Relationship Between Men And Mental Health

Men, like everyone else, experience a spectrum of emotions and may face mental health issues but there is a distinctive gender divide when it comes to giving attention to it.

Written by Kinkini Gupta |Updated : January 23, 2024 6:18 PM IST

Mental health, which is frequently an unspoken and stigmatized subject, is an integral part of general well-being that crosses gender lines. While debates around mental health have gained traction in recent years, there is a particular emphasis on understanding the complicated interaction between males and mental health.

Men, like everyone else, experience a spectrum of emotions and may face mental health issues. However, cultural expectations and gender conventions frequently limit how males express and cope with their feelings. The societal pressure on men to conform to the image of stoicism and emotional resilience may unintentionally lead to a culture of silence surrounding their mental health difficulties.

We spoke to Dr. Chandni Tugnait, a Psychotherapist and M.D. in Alternative Medicine to understand the complicated relationship between men and mental health.

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Here are some key points that Dr. Tugnait highlighted:

Stigma Persists:Social norms still pressure men to project strength instead of struggling openly. Toxic masculinity stereotypes foster shame around seeking help even amid crises. This isolates them from support.

Warning Signs Overlooked:Anger, aggression and risky behaviors often manifest instead of vulnerability. Since these align with masculine ideals, underlying issues get dismissed rather than addressed compassionately early on.

Less Likely To Get Treatment: Men are far less likely than women to proactively enter therapy. Feelings of failure or fears of judgment impose barriers to accessing care, as does lack of emotional awareness.

Unique Coping Challenges: Men's tendencies to repress emotions can spiral into substance misuse, anger disorders or self-destructive behaviors. These ineffective coping tools necessitate targeted interventions.

High Suicide Rate: While women have more attempts, the rate of male deaths by suicide is disproportionately higher due to more lethal means used. This underscores the urgency around prevention.

Movement Towards Openness: More men are seeking help amid rising mental health awareness, reduced stigma and expanding vocabulary to express struggles. Younger males lead this wave, normalizing vulnerability. Promoting men's mental health is a social responsibility that requires changing societal views.

Men And Mental Health

The landscape of men's mental health is changing, and the path entails not only recognizing the difficulties but also actively deconstructing the barriers that prevent open discussions. It will need a concerted effort to rethink societal standards and confront toxic masculinity. Initiatives that raise awareness dispel prejudices and provide safe venues for men to voice their mental health concerns are critical. The de-stigmatization of therapy and counselling appears to be a vital step in encouraging men to seek help without fear of being judged. We can redefine the masculinity narrative through inclusive initiatives and campaigning, highlighting that prioritizing mental health is a sign of strength. Outreach, preventative education and affirming spaces remain key to steering men towards help-seeking behaviors. Therapists should target masculine inclinations and barriers to care. Accountability and consistency can save lives.

As we all embark on this transforming journey, it is critical to remember that everyone's mental health journey is unique, regardless of gender. We contribute to a society where individuals, regardless of gender, can freely address and overcome mental health difficulties by establishing a culture that honors vulnerability, encourages empathy, and prioritizes mental well-being for all. We are paving the way for a future where the issue of men's mental health is commonplace, breaking free from the restrictions of cultural expectations and adopting a holistic approach to well-being through ongoing dialogue, awareness campaigns, and supportive institutions.