MEN'S MENTAL HEALTH- BREAKING THE STEREOTYPE!

Free

04/26/2020
  • INDORE, India

We are far from being a mental health- positive, stigma-free society but this initiative aims to break these conventions and barriers - assuaging the situation as much as we can. People still don’t see mental health as important as physical illnesses, such as, diabetes and blood pressure. But today, I am going to talk about the sector of the population who have been taught to be tough and suppress their feelings- MEN. I am going to talk about Men’s mental health issues by citing one of the incidences my viewer shared. I want everyone out there to read this because we as a whole can only ameliorate the situation. They generally aren’t good at expressing their feelings and by this blog, I hope I can encourage them to open up to the world and give them the confidence to share more.


Our society and parents have always told us to be tough and strong in every situation. We have confused toughness with masculinity, which is wrong. We should accept their feelings as a pivotal and integral aspect of masculinity. Entombing of feelings steadily transforms into anger and aggravates their mental health more. The below-mentioned instance shows the urgency to voice this topic in our society. The case I am voicing today is of one of my friends who wants to speak out to you about the importance of this. He asserts that,

“I want to talk about alcoholism and domestic violence which my father put up on our family through. The drinking problem was a habit and this surfaced a different personality- Personality which was frightful and horrifying. He always had a false suspicion on my mother of her affairs and used to beat her every night because of this suspected allegation. My mother had to tolerate because she came from a very lower-middle-class family which consisted of six sisters and a father with a mental disorder. It was already difficult for them to thrive due to debt and healthcare funds they needed, hence, she decided not to be an extra load of burden on them. She kept mum even after routine night episodes, lying on the corner of the bed, bleeding through deep cuts. She cried not because of the physical hurting but how the deep impact it had on her mind and soul. I was 6 years old then and my sister just a few months old when one night he decided to throw us out of the house and left us to wander into streets unaccompanied. We begged people on the streets to help us and talk him out of his second nature. No one did and we couldn’t complain. One day he asked all of us to leave and dropped us at the bus station. He drank the whole time while waiting for the bus. My mother tried to stop him but in that heated argument and conflict the bottle shattered. The glass pieces cut deep in my mother’s fingers. All clothes turned red but the bleeding won’t stop. There were many other instances which I wish to share but these are some of them which really engraved and had a huge impact on me.”

Alcoholism not only affects you but also people living in your surroundings. Things might be better now but it can’t replace the memories which are engraved in his head like an everlasting stone carving. Imagine how different would it be if we took mental health more seriously. Not just, we could have helped him while he was struggling through these circumstances but could also help his father who might need help to get better. He might be stressing over the fear of expressing himself.




WHAT CAN WE DO?

1. TELL MEN IT IS OKAY TO FEEL-
Since childhood, every movie we watched shows tough and strong men who were heroes and had a win at the end. Females were enacted to be more tender and emotional ones. Though this wasn’t the message they wanted to render but we got it LOUD AND CLEAR- as a boy, feelings are not okay.

Rather than stigmatizing the gender difference, we should encourage the males to choose anything he wants to- his favorite color can be PINK, he can sit at home and love COOKING and not playing SPORTS, and cry their eyes out whenever they feel so. Tell them from the very starting that feeling things is normal and nothing to be ashamed of.


2. HELP THEM EXPRESSING THEIR FEELINGS-
“Stop being such a girl!” and many other phrases like this force them to ensconce their feelings behind their strong masculinity. Every human has feelings yet boys aren’t encouraged to express them freely. Maybe the reason for the anger and frustration of my friend’s father could be the inability of sharing his feelings with the ones who love them the most. If he could have shared then the situation might be different.

The inability of expressing feelings often turns into anger. And as it builds up it leads to a sudden outburst which is very hostile for us and the surroundings. Intoxication often is the only solution they think would help them but what they really need is someone who can listen and help them express themselves.

- Help them choose the right words. Not finding the correct words can lead to frustration because they don’t understand which words go with what they are feeling.

- Don’t judge, just listen. They can never share what they feel until you tell them ‘how’ to feel. Instead of stating ‘how’ to feel, ‘ask’ him about his feelings.
- Encourage when they show feelings. Acknowledgment is the key here. Everyone loves to be acknowledged. If they share anything with you, praise them if they show positive attention.

- Template the right behavior. Adults need to model this for their children. But many of them are still seeking answers for themselves. You have to learn how you feel to teach your children how they should feel.

- Try keeping it to yourself. The only reason anyone is sharing anything with you is because of trust and confidentiality. Try understanding his feelings and gain his trust. This will help you both turning into a better individual.


3. EMBLAZON FEELINGS AS AN INTEGRAL PART OF MASCULINITY-
Showing feelings is not feminine. These stereotypical assertions make it more difficult for them to deal with situations like depression. Though growing up we would understand that these are the most powerful and significant aspects of masculinity. We are not sacrificing anything to expressing it, we are learning. I hope every boy is taught this from his childhood.

This stereotype is devouring our society and I see an urgency to normalize this as soon as possible. I want all of you to spread this message to the world with me and it really needs to reach to our elder generation as well. Please, make them read this and help me achieve my objective.



Also, if you guys want to share any of your instances that disturbed your mental health, you can share it with us named or anonymously at the specified link. (https://forms.gle/N3bKXuZEx6agMxLt5).

Follow us on Instagram (@manna.style) for some related content and help us to achieve OUR GOAL by sharing as much as you can. Since, our objective is to build an ideal society for all of us.



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