Men & Mental Health Myths

Mental health does not discriminate against any gender. The reality is that men struggle with their mental health, just like women, teens and children.

Yet, men are less likely to reach out for help because they feel they must remain strong. Therefore, some believe that admitting they are mentally ill makes them look “weak.”

There are other reasons that reveal why men are less likely to seek help when they feel depressed or anxious.

First, men show different symptoms. While women are more likely to appear sad or tired, men are more likely to be angry, frustrated, and to use alcohol or other drugs to tackle their symptoms.

If these signs are similar to what you are currently feeling, please seek help today. It’s okay to ask for help. By reaching out, you can get onto the path of wellness.

Another point to note as it relates to men and mental health is that men ask for help differently.

Men want to be able to help someone in return, and so knowing that it’s a two-way street, they are more likely to ask for help and not see it as a sign of weakness.

In addition, men need something to do, not just sit and talk about their feelings.

They need to feel as though they are contributing to the bigger picture.

Due to the reasons above, it’s no wonder why there can be a stigma around men and their mental health.

Unfortunately, society as a whole does contribute to adding myths about men’s mental health. Here are a few myths about men and mental health:

Real men don’t ask for help

If you need help, you need help and shouldn’t feel wrong/bad for seeking help. Sometimes, getting an outside perspective is what is needed to heal.

Men just don’t get emotional

One of the most common myths is that men just don’t have or express as many emotions. Many people especially in our Africa environment feel that men shouldn’t even show any emotions. This is both incredibly unhealthy and unrealistic.

Depression will make you a burden to others

You will not be a burden if you seek help for your depression or other mental health disorders. People are willing to help you, especially when they care for you. Don’t be afraid to ask for it and understand that you are not putting them or causing them problems by asking for help.

Depression equates Weakness

Depression has nothing to do with personal weakness. It is a serious condition that millions of men battle with every year. It’s the same as other diseases, like diabetes and high blood pressure, it can happen to anyone so it’s not something to feel ashamed about.

Men Can Recover On Their Own

Another common myth is that men just don’t need treatment for their mental health, that they can just “get over it” or “man up”. Sadly, a lot of men take this to heart.

According to a study, women are more likely to report mental health-related symptoms to their provider. It should go without saying that men should most certainly get help for their conditions, especially when they feel that their possible conditions are negatively impacting their life in any way.

Mental health conditions affect thousands of people around the world. You are therefore not alone in the challenges you face. You have nothing to feel ashamed about.

As a man, your mental health is just as important as anyone else’s. You shouldn’t ever feel the need to hide your pain or just wait for it to blow over.

Help is available and recovery is possible.

This piece was written by Counsellor Christoper Okadonye.