You must be wondering why the article would start with the term Man-Up which means “be brave or tough enough to deal with an unpleasant situation.” If you ever ask a man which situation he finds tough or unpleasant to be in most of the time, the answer would be to open about his clogged up feelings and mental health.
Okay, let me ask you another question. When do we celebrate World’s Men day? Or why do we even celebrate it? Aren’t men the privileged class?. To put simply, International Men’s Day is celebrated annually on November 19, worldwide. Its focus is on the efforts towards the welfare of men by making a positive difference and raising awareness of issues that men face.
International Men’s Day includes topics around mental health, toxic masculinity, the prevalence of male suicide, promoting men’s health, improving gender relations, to name a few. For 2019, the theme is “Making a Difference for Men and Boys”. This day is providing the greater platform for raising awareness about an important global issue of men’s mental health.
7.5 % of the Indian population suffers from some form of mental disorder. India account’s for 15% of the global mental, neurological and substance abuse disorder burden, as well as one-sixth of India’s all health-related disorders- World Health Organisation’s 2018 report stated. WHO also predicts that by 2020, roughly 20 per cent of India will suffer from mental illnesses. And to cater to this demographic, we have less than 4,000 mental health professionals.
The report also highlights India is one of the countries with the highest rate of depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in the world. The US is the most mentally unwell.
Indian Health statistics of 2018 shows that men are more prone to commit suicide than women which comprises to 70% of suicidal deaths. Around 9% of the males are prone to alcohol, whereas 32.8% and 1.1% to tobacco and other substances respectively.
In its 2018 report, the WHO stressed that cultural stigma is one of the key impediments for people to admit that they struggle to seek assistance, and that stigma is particularly strong along with men.
Consider the following stigmatic statements:
Masculine role socialization: Many boys learn at an early age that they are not supposed to express vulnerability. They are told to suppress most emotional responses, like crying.
Social norms: This may become such a habit that by the time they reach adulthood they may be unaware of most emotions aside from anger, one of the few culturally sanctioned male emotions. ManTherapy.org reports that 1 in 10 men suffer from intermittent explosive disorder or rage.
“Described in various media as a ‘silent epidemic’ and a ‘sleeper issue that has crept into the minds of millions,’ with ‘chilling statistics,’ mental illness among men is a public health concern that begs attention.”
Men may have different symptoms
Specialists also point out that men and women can experience different symptoms of the same mental health issues. This, they say, maybe partly a “side effect” of divergent views of mental health.
Different men have different symptoms, but some common depression symptoms include:
Things to Help in Reducing Mental Health Problem
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