The Stigma of Men's Mental Health: How We Can Change the Conversation
Mental health is a topic that is often considered taboo. When we think of mental health, images of people with serious mental illnesses come to mind. This isn't the only image that should come to mind when we think about mental health, however. Mental health includes anxiety, depression, and other conditions that are less severe but still impact our daily lives. In this blog post, we will discuss the stigma of men's mental health and how we can change the conversation surrounding it.
Mental health is often seen as a women's issue. This is because mental health is more commonly discussed in the context of women's issues. This isn't to say that men don't suffer from mental health conditions, but rather that the conversation surrounding men's mental health isn't as open as it should be. When we think about mental health, we should be thinking about all genders.
The stigma around men's mental health is perpetuated by the fact that society tells us that men should be strong and emotionless. We are taught from a young age that boys don't cry and that they should bottle up their emotions. This couldn't be further from the truth. Men are just as capable of experiencing emotions as women are. In fact, studies have shown that men are more likely to bottle up their emotions and not seek help when they're struggling. This is because they don't want to appear weak or vulnerable.
The stigma surrounding men's mental health needs to be changed. We need to start having open and honest conversations about mental health. This will help normalize the conversation and make it less taboo. It's time for us to break the silence and start talking about men's mental health. Let's change the conversation and make mental health a priority for all genders.
To begin, I will share my personal story:
I served for nine years on active duty until going blind in my left eye. This caused me to develop severe depression and a stress related anxiety disorder. I began having panic attacks and felt like my life was out of control. I was constantly on edge and couldn't focus on anything. I was in a dark place and didn't see any way out.
I didn't want to tell anyone about what I was going through because I didn't want to appear weak. I thought that if I opened up about my mental health, people would think less of me. This is the stigma that society has perpetuated about men's mental health. Thankfully, I had a support system of my wife and children who helped me get through this tough time. They encouraged me to seek professional help and gave me the strength to do so via a few VA appointments.
It took a lot of hard work, but I was eventually able to get my life back on track (for the most part, I am still without employment and trying to make a business become successful). I'm now an advocate for mental health awareness and hope to help break the stigma surrounding men's mental health. If you're struggling, don't be afraid to reach out for help. You're not alone. We need to start having open and honest conversations about mental health so that we can make it a priority for all genders. Let's change the conversation and break the silence around men's mental health.
It's time for us to have a real conversation about men's mental health. For too long, we've left men out of the conversation about mental health and it's time to change that. Mental health is a priority for all genders and we need to start talking about it. Let's break the silence and start changing the conversation. We can make a difference if we work together to make mental health a priority. Join me in starting this important conversation today. Together, we can make a difference.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please reach out for help. You are not alone. Here are some resources that can help:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (800-273-825)
Crisis Text Line: TEXT “HOME” TO 741741
Veterans Crisis Line: 800-273-TALK (800-273-825) press "0"
Mental Health America: mhanational.org/find-help
NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness): nami.org/FindSupport
SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration): samhsa.gov/find