Why It Is More Difficult For Men to Seek Mental Health Treatment
Mental health has become an issue that is being recognized more in society, but it seems as though the stigma towards men is still grossly behind those of their female counterparts. A higher number of men lose their lives to suicide than women, and men are more likely to abuse substances than women, which directly links to mental health treatment.
It seems as though this discrepancy between men and women when it comes to mental health is linked to an outdated way of thinking. Throughout history, men have been pushed into the idea that they need to be macho, strong, and not show their emotions. The problem is that many men will translate this into the idea that they cannot show their feelings and push down any negative or “weak” emotion. Many men up until the last 10 - 20 years have likened mental health to being weak, and asking for help would show they aren’t healthy. This isn’t reality, and because of this old way of thinking, many more men will suffer silently from their mental health, and will in many cases, succumb to the illness.
Eliminating the Stigma
The most crucial action that can be taken to stop this is to reduce the stigma. It would be helpful if men dealing with mental health issues understood that avoiding treatment will make their situations worse. Education is also critical when talking about men’s mental health. If men and women are educated on mental health and the treatments offered, men will feel less pressure to push their feelings down. The only way to stop men from taking their own lives or turning to substance abuse is by allowing them to embrace their own emotions and understand that vulnerability is a normal and healthy part of life. Although the stigma exists, it slowly becomes extinct with the education and knowledge emerging about the importance of mental health counselling and the significant difference in the statistics between men and women.
When to Seek Help
To help identify whether someone you know or yourself requires help, you should look out for some signs. These signs can manifest physically or in their demeanour and actions. These symptoms can include:
Change in mood
Sadness, or hopelessness
Loss of pleasure, and pull away from things that used to provide enjoyment
Physical symptoms such as headaches and stomach issues
If you notice any of these symptoms in a loved one, just remind them that asking for help is a strength and that there are many resources available to help. You should book an appointment with a health or substance abuse practitioner, like RD Psychotherapy.
To treat this problem, we need to normalize and make it ok for those suffering to reach out for help and assure them that it is normal. At RD Psychotherapy, we specialize in treating men to feel better and cope with mental illness. Our team is built by experts who know what men are going through and how to work through their traumas to no longer have to suffer. Contact RD Psychotherapy today for more information!