Jun 14, 2019
Traditionally, there has been a stigma surrounding men’s mental health. A man outwardly discussing his thoughts and feelings can be uncomfortable in the workplace, socially, and even at home. Culturally, we generally require our men to “suck it up” or “man up”. These phrases send the message that we are looking at behavior more and are not as concerned with men’s underlying thoughts and feelings. Unfortunately, this is quite the dismissive attitude toward the men in our lives. Males learn at an early age that men don’t cry and that showing too much of certain emotions can be considered weakness in the eyes of the world. Men can lose confidence that their emotions are real and are valid. This message can often become a voice in a man’s head that tells him that he must deal with his burden on his own.
Therefore, men can tend to hold their true emotions tightly and express themselves through just a few socially acceptable emotions such as anger, anxiety, or even depression. Many times, men miss out on learning how to identify and are not taught how to handle difficult emotions. This means that they become less aware of how they feel due to sucking it up and shoving emotions down. Without an appropriate outlet to explore and resolve feelings men can be left to fall deeper into their problems, which in turn can lead to greater and more significant dysfunction. Men might turn to destructive coping mechanisms to vent their emotions such as drugs, alcohol, pornography, workaholism, gaming, or gambling to name just a few. These are merely avenues to distract themselves but are dangerous as they can also lead men down a dark path to even deeper dysfunction.
So, what men we do about it?
What can love ones do to help the men in their lives be more mentally healthy?
I firmly believes we all have great capacity to understand ourselves and heal. With encouragement and support, each person can tap into vast depths of resilience and strength which can bring about profound change
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