Although mental disorders have become less taboo to discuss, it is still looked down upon and often viewed as a trivial problem. The disdain towards discussion about mental health is especially evident towards men as a result of society’s double standards. Men are often under the impression that they need to be “manly,” and showing weakness is not considered masculine. Men should be able to speak openly about mental health and not be shunned as a result.
Being a certain sex does not make it easier to cope with anxiety or depression, so seeking help should be equally advocated among men and women. Advocating silence and endurance will teach male teenagers to cope with their stress accumulated from school in other ways. According to the University of Rochester Health Encyclopedia, men with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder will oftentimes cope with their symptoms through substance abuse.
Furthermore, unstable mental health can lead to mental disorders and eventually suicide. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the amount of men who committed suicide in 2017 was 3.54 times greater than women. Being assured that men will not be judged for seeking help will prompt more men to take steps towards improving their mental health. This will decrease the amount of men who commit and attempt suicide.
People may argue that seeking help will not change the number of men who are mentally unstable. The University of Rochester Health Encyclopedia states that some mental illnesses are more common among women, who are more likely to suffer from anxiety or depression, but social support plays a role in helping them recover from these illnesses. Given that more men commit suicide than women, despite less men suffering from mental illnesses, talking about mental health will play a role in decreasing the amount of men who commit suicide.
All in all, men should not be ashamed of seeking support when mentally ill. Society needs to stop teaching men to hide their feelings in order to appear masculine and instead advocate the communication of feelings and proper care of mental health. Schools should make the subject of mental health less taboo by discussing mental health and teaching students how to address other people’s mental illnesses as well as their own mental illnesses.