Psychology Behind Men’s Issues

Psychology Behind Men’s Issues

a depressed man

The saying that “being a man” typically implies being extreme, remaining in control, never crying, working through physical torment, providing for the family, and never backing down from a battle” is right away conspicuous to most individuals. In spite of the fact that these parts allow men a system for their presence, they can too be exceptionally constrictive. A key thought within the manly gender role strain worldview, traditional masculinity ideology (TMI) represents inflexible, sexist, and outdated ideas about what men have to be feel, think, and do.

Gender Role Socialization

All through their lives, men are beneath intense pressure to maintain these masculine norms— which incorporate being intense, brave, and sincerely detached—and studies have shown that the repercussions of breaking these standards are regularly worse for men than for women. For instance, when boys and men express their hurts, ask for help, or show emotion, they are more likely to face harsh treatment, ridicule, or punishment.

These norms may seriously harm men’s physical and mental health. Compared to men who don’t follow to traditional masculinity beliefs, men who hold more traditional beliefs about masculinity and male gender roles are more likely to smoke, have poor dietary and sleeping habits, and are more likely to be physically harmed in accidents.

Reaching a Crisis Point

Men’s mental wellbeing could be a major theme of discussion, contemplated from these concerning statistics:

More middle-aged men (45–64) than any other demographic, including women and young individuals, died by suicide. (Centre for Suicide Prevention, 2022). According to the Centre for Suicide Prevention, men died by suicide three times as frequently as women.

According to the Centre for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (2017), men are two to three times more likely than women to utilize substances in a way that’s destructive to them. The UK’s most noteworthy suicide rate is among men between the ages of 40 and 49.
Compared to women, men are less likely to get psychological treatment: as it were 36% of referrals to talking treatments inside the NHS are made for males.

One prominent analyst referred to male suicide as a “silent epidemic.” It’s ‘silent’ since of a lack of public awareness of the seriousness of the issue, as well as insufficient number of studies and initiatives aimed at preventing male suicide. Suicide is one of the top 3 causes of men’s death between the ages of 15 and 44, which makes it “epidemic” due to its high frequency and significant part in men’s mortality.

What Keeps Men from Discussing Mental Wellbeing Concerns?
The social stigma about being emotional

Men with major depression don’t always look for therapy; numerous are awkward with the stigma connected to receiving such a diagnosis. After all, the stereotype of real men is that they are not depressed. Moreover, a man will never talk about it with another man, indeed in the event that they accept it. However, a lot of men agree with the saying that “real men do not talk about their sentiments.” And a great deal of men’s unhappiness can stem from precisely this impassive pose.

Acquiring unhelpful coping mechanisms

When men begin to struggle, the desires of society may thrust them towards unhealthy coping components instead of helping them get the support they need. Among the unhealthy coping mechanisms are:

  • Not getting the assistance one needs from companions, family, or medical experts;
  • Overindulging in liquor to ease mental distress
  • Sucking it up’ by denying suffering
  • In times of distress, isolating oneself or diminishing social connections

A vast number of men in Western culture use these unhealthy psychological coping mechanisms, which expose them to various negative physical and mental impacts, such as depression or anxiety.

Effects of the Ideology of Masculinity
Presence of persistent stress in men’s lives

Wellbeing is incredibly affected by stress. Men encounter a great deal of stress due to masculinity standards, which direct that men ought to be the primary providers and leaders. Another source of stress is the expectation for men to be prepared for sex at all times. Additionally, social standards that require men to be strong guardians while expecting them to hide their sentiments and vulnerabilities are important causes of stress for men. Men are expected to neither inquire for nor acknowledge emotional support, and society views healthy coping techniques like crying, yoga, and meditation as feminine.

Inexpressiveness in intimacy

The traditional masculinity ideology, which encouraged men to constrain their emotional experience, encompasses a negative effect on men’s intimacy. Men who experience more gender role conflict (GRC) also frequently experience greater levels of intimacy fear. Emotional expressiveness and restrictive emotionality identify the main causes of this fear of intimacy. Men would consequently be incapable of creating any kind of personal association, counting a relationship with a psychotherapist, since they would be incapable of expressing their thoughts and sentiments to anybody, not even their romantic partner.

Experiencing the feeling of shame

Men feel shame when they deviate from the gender norms that society anticipates of them as men. They encounter intense distress when they experience shame and its associated feelings, such as humiliation, embarrassment, and guilt, since these sentiments conflict with their masculine identity and are not appropriate for men to experience.

Alexithymia- a condition

Greek in origin, “alexithymia” truly implies “having no words for emotions”: a=lack, lexis=word, thymos=emotions.
We characterize the condition known as alexithymia as patients who obviously experience sentiments but seem not to understand them, and as patients who lack the words to portray these sentiments to others (Muller, n.d.). And it appears that this condition is more common in men.

Help-Seeking Conduct

Frequently, society raises men in a way that directly opposes asking for help. For instance, studies reveal that only 1 in 7 men, compared to 1 in 3 women, look for mental health services at a few point in their lives, and 1 in 4 men would put off seeing a doctor if they felt ill, in pain, or stressed around their wellbeing.

The reason for this hesitance to inquire for help could be that they accept appearing powerlessness and uncovering sentiments are signs of shortcoming and imitate female conduct, or it could be that they believe that asking for help and admitting to having issues shows a man that they are weak or possibly incompetent.

How can we support men with mental ailments?
Redefining the way people seek health care

Therefore, one technique to encourage more men to induce help is to persuade them that the issues they are confronting are “normal.”

Raising awareness for the emotionality of men

Campaigns and media can utilize to raise awareness around men’s emotionality and the mental issues they face. The National Institute of Mental Health unveiled this reality when it started a nationwide media campaign titled “Real Men. Real Depression,” revealing that over 6 million men experience depression each year. Furthermore, the objective of the National Football League’s “Tackling Men’s Health” campaign was to energize men to see doctors and take charge of their health.

Role of a clinician

It is significant for clinicians to perceive and address the gender role socialization that contributes to men’s tendency to deny or minimize well-being issues, as this will hinder the treatment of male patients. There’s a need to motivate endeavors for accurately assessing, diagnosing, and implementing effective treatments.

The author composed this article to provide the readers with practical and engaging information.

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