Are we really aware of men's mental health?
November is Men’s Mental Health Awareness month. Our PR volunteer, Tuba Yapa, ask us: Are we really aware of men’s mental health?
You saw the title of the article. It’s obviously about men’s mental health. November is Men’s mental Health Awareness month and we should not ignore this important topic. In any case, if you are a male reading this, congratulations as you chose to read it with your own will. When you finish this article, you will learn a lot about yourself and your awareness will increase.
Of course, not ‘all’ men are ‘always’ and ‘completely’ as described in this article. Just like the fruits of a tree can never be exactly the same, but in the end, they are all fruits from the same tree.
If I say now which I would say at the end; If men had more ability to recognise and accept their own negative emotions from the beginning and to cope with these negative emotions (this is called “emotional intelligence”), mental health awareness would be a long way off.
Let’s take a look at men’s problem-solving and stress-coping methods before they are isolated from society.
Most men act more with ‘thinking’ rather than with their ‘feeling.’ Their hearts are often dominated by their minds (of course not applicable to every man). They may not be very aware of their own emotions and, consequently, the emotions of others. Sometimes, even if they realise these emotions, they ignore them, or they may not care so much. At times, they might be frightened by these emotions and shy away from them, or they declare war against them, or they reflect them onto the people around them.
Some negative emotions that men especially tend to avoid include: shame, inadequacy, failure, weakness, helplessness, powerlessness, worthlessness. Feelings of anger and aggression, on the other hand, are the emotions that men often experience without trying to suppress and avoid too much, and they often serve to cover up deeper feelings such as hurt, inadequacy, and weakness. Furthermore, this aggression is directed towards the man himself, in the form of self-destructive behaviour (speeding, various addictions, risky behaviour in financial matters, or, more quickly, depression, suicide…)
Why do they refuse to ask for help?
Because of men’s passion of autonomy and their “own ways” of dealing with problems, they are not likely to ask for directions and help even when driving somewhere, nor are they very willing to receive help, which they see as “external intervention” in psychotherapy and personal development. They tend to think in both ends such as broken/fixed, sick/healthy. They want to solve their problems “on their own”, without any help. They think of it as a sign of autonomy, freedom, and strength (on the contrary, being able to ask for help when necessary is a characteristic of “strong” people).
Instead of “thinking” about a problem, it is always easier for them to hide within “their cave” in order to cover up the problem and forget it or to draw their attention on something else and get away from the problem.
Please tell yourself that you are not alone.
Now, based on what you’ve learned, it’s time to keep in mind that asking for help is valuable and a sign of strong man.
If Men Could Talk – Dr. Alon Gratch
Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus – John Gray