There are so many taboos about going to a psychologist and men’s mental health that they cannot be ignored. Whatever the reason for these taboos is, they can affect their health and take their lives away. The old and baseless frameworks that have prevented men from visiting psychologists still exist Today.
We may not talk about them much, but when we pay attention to the statistics of men going to psychologists, we will notice the strong presence of these thoughts among the general public. Today, we will discuss the reasons and obstacles for most men not visiting a psychologist. Also, this article will teach us the factors that endanger men’s mental health.
A look at the statistics of diseases and behavioral abnormalities with the root of depression in men.
Many men believe “if they are hardworking and strong enough, they can solve problems.” So there is no need to see a psychologist. This is an old misconception that seriously damages their health.
According to the report of the Suicide Prevention Foundation in the United States, the death rate due to suicide in men in 2017 was 3.54% higher than that of women. The American Mental Health Organization also stated in a report that 6 million men in the United States are depressed yearly.
Also, the Third National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has announced that the number of men die due to excessive alcohol consumption is 62,000. Suppose the exact statistics for women is 26,000 people every year. You can see that this statistic in men is almost three times that of women.
In other reports, it has been stated that men’s drug consumption rate is 2 to 3 times that of women. Depression and suicide are one of the leading causes of death in men, but despite this, most men still do not want to go to a psychologist and do psychotherapy.
Let’s know the taboo that men face.
Dr. Raymond Hobbs, a consultant physician at Blue Cross Blue Shield in Michigan, says of the taboo that men face: “I think part of this taboo is rooted in culture. Many boys do not like to admit discomfort because they see it as a sign of weakness. In adulthood, the same issue becomes a reluctance to express depression due to the fear of being seen as weak.
It is pretty clear that this idea is an old and outdated issue that has come to us from previous generations and is contrary to the current medical community’s understanding of mental illnesses. Dr. Hobbs says: “Today, we know a lot more about the feeling of depression, and we know the effect of chemical changes in the body on the level of depression. “Mental illnesses are similar to physical illnesses in many ways.”
Of course, you should know that many people still do not look at mental illnesses this way. They still consider mental and emotional problems as personal problem and do not want to get help from others to solve it. Most men think asking for help from others to solve mental issues is a sign of weak character.
For this reason, the existence of mental illnesses, taking action to ensure men’s mental health, and trying to solve problems in society is still taboo. Many men struggle every day with their need to receive help, and this issue can increase the severity of the disease.
“There are ways to break the taboo of men asking for help in society,” says Zach Levin of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. All of us are trying to minimize this problem and prepare a suitable environment for men to visit. However, many men are still ashamed or feel guilty about seeing a psychologist. This is the reason why they visit a psychologist less often.”
A poisonous phrase called “be a man.”
The need to get help and the obstacles on their way is not the only problem of men’s mental health. Research has shown that some men face difficulties in establishing social relationships. “Being a man” and the phrase “be a man” that has been said to boys since childhood is one of the most poisonous labels applied to men’s lives and endangers their mental health.
When discussing this poisonous phrase, you are referring to their educational method. When they tell a boy to be a man, they want him to be solid and quiet. If we look at the old movies, it was everyone’s dream to get the leading man in those movies and become them. From that model of men who were ineffective in every way, they carried the burden of problems alone, did not complain, and did not ask anyone for help to do things.
This hidden message in the term “being dead” prevents men from going to psychiatrists. Research has shown that negative factors and the toxic load of this term significantly impact the level of depression that destroys men’s mental health. When the symptoms of depression appear in people and become confirmed, it leads to substance abuse.
The less willing men are to get help, the more severe depression they experience, and they often choose to use drugs as an unconscious coping strategy for this need. When people struggle with depression, anxiety, and mental health problems, they cannot choose a healthy and harmless way to deal with them. For this reason, they resort to alcohol and drugs to escape from sadness and depression and to be away from their negative feelings in an unrealistic way.
The main question is, can we, as members of society, take a practical step in breaking this taboo and helping men?
How to remove the board?
Many men have succumbed to the phrase “be like a man” and somehow fall prey to it. Following this phrase, they expect to solve all the problems themselves, not frown. They always worry that if they appear vulnerable when faced with difficulties, even when they are physically ill, they will lose their masculine authority and no longer have value to those around them.
As a result, they always think they can fix any problem quickly and move on to the next problem. They may even completely deny the existence of any problems and call all the events a regular life routine! Addressing these issues and helping men overcome their fears requires asking for help once.
We can all be more honest about the third issue of drug use. The third root is drug use in depression; no one is immune from stress. You can talk to different people and create a feeling of empathy, friendship, and support through your influential presence in their lives. All these good feelings can deal with the sense of isolation in the person in question and keep him away from drug or alcohol addiction.
Experts believe that many of these issues can be solved with education. We should make people realize that mental illnesses are just like physical illnesses, there are excellent and effective ways to treat them, and they should not be disappointed.
You should know that untreated mental health problems can turn into physical illness in a short period. This is more common in people who resort to alcohol and drugs to escape depression. Stomach inflammation, internal bleeding, and changes in the structure and function of the brain are among the physical diseases caused by mental illnesses.
Again, we must mention the influential role of education. Proper education plays the biggest role in removing this taboo and helping men deal with depression. If someone around you is struggling with depression, talk to them, tell them that this old belief is wrong, and reassure them that they can count on you whenever they need help.
When is the right time to ask for help?
The following symptoms indicate that a person needs help. It doesn’t matter if you are that person or one of the men around you facing a problem. Seeing these symptoms, you should know that men’s mental health is at risk, and you should ask for help very quickly:
- Mood swings.
- Difference in performance.
- Weight change.
- Unhappiness, disappointment, or frustration.
- Physical symptoms such as headaches and stomach problems.
If you see any of these signs in those around you, offer them an amiable offer that you can help them if they are willing. Try to arrange a meeting with a psychologist or, if he is involved with alcohol and drugs, introduce him to a substance use disorder specialist.
Suggest that he try meeting with a specialist, talking to him once, and seeing if he likes to continue the sessions. This method is far more effective than providing a regular and long-term schedule of seeing a psychologist. You can even offer him a telephone consultation; the chances of him accepting this are more than visiting in person.
Ask for help if you are facing a problem. Don’t be afraid of this; no one’s character is questioned by asking for help. Remember that none of us are superheroes, and at different stages of life, we need help from others to continue on the path.
If you feel depressed, isolated, and confused, consult a psychologist. There are various methods, such as group therapy, private counseling, or support sessions. Rest assured that you will feel better by getting help. Throw away old superstitions and beliefs; nothing is worth risking your health for.
Why is it difficult for many men to visit a psychologist?
There are many taboos and misconceptions about men’s mental health and seeking help from a psychologist. Many men believe that being strong and hardworking means they should be able to solve their problems without assistance. This mindset is often reinforced by societal expectations and cultural norms that view seeking help as a sign of weakness.
What are some statistics related to men’s mental health?
According to the Suicide Prevention Foundation in the United States, the death rate due to suicide in men in 2017 was 3.54% higher than that of women. The American Mental Health Organization also reported that 6 million men in the United States are depressed yearly. Furthermore, the Third National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has announced that the number of men who die due to excessive alcohol consumption is 62,000, which is almost three times the statistic for women.
What is the impact of the phrase “be a man” on men’s mental health?
The phrase “be a man” often implies that men should be stoic, silent, and self-reliant. This can discourage men from seeking help for mental health issues, contributing to feelings of isolation and potentially leading to substance abuse as a coping mechanism.
How can society help break the taboo around men’s mental health?
Education plays a crucial role in breaking the taboo. It’s important to communicate that mental illnesses are just like physical illnesses and there are effective ways to treat them. Encouraging open conversations about mental health, creating a supportive environment, and promoting the idea that seeking help is not a sign of weakness can also help.
What are some signs that a man might need help with his mental health?
Some signs that a man might need help with his mental health include mood swings, changes in performance, weight changes, feelings of unhappiness, disappointment, or frustration, and physical symptoms such as headaches and stomach problems.
What should you do if you or someone you know is showing signs of needing mental health support?
If you or someone you know is showing signs of needing mental health support, it’s important to reach out and offer help. This could involve arranging a meeting with a psychologist or a substance use disorder specialist, or even offering a telephone consultation. It’s important to remember that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, and there are various methods of support available, such as group therapy, private counseling, or support sessions.