They say ‘Feminism prevails all over’. ‘Why is there no special day dedicated to men?’ ‘We make a huge fuss over International Women’s Day, when are we going to celebrate International Men’s Day?’ Well, here it is. The 19th of November is celebrated as International Men’s Day around the world, and it has been around since 1999. This day is celebrated to raise awareness of men’s mental health and male suicide, a topic that is rarely spoken about.
Do we really need to speak about men’s mental health? Aren’t they mentally strong enough to cope up with all situations and circumstances in life?
Here are 3 major mental health problems that affect men
In India men between the age of 30 and 49 years are the most affected by mental traumas. A clinical psychologist Sonali Gupta says that it is the burden of masculinity that has not and is never going to change even though lifestyle and work environments have undergone drastic changes in recent years. "Boys are brought up with the idea that men don't cry, which becomes an impediment to any attempt at addressing an emotional concern," says Gupta, who sees eight male clients in a week, while the number of women seeking therapy in a week is about 12.
Unknowingly there are millions of men in India who are battling depression silently and are skeptical to talk about it on the fear of being labeled as ‘weak’ and ‘mentally feeble’. Male depression is an undiagnosed condition because they likely report fatigue, irritability, disinterested in office activities and hobbies. With such symptoms being complained about, doctors often diagnose it as some abnormalities related to physical health rather than a mental trauma and depression. Men never complain feeling sad or worthless.
Men are pressurized into believing right from childhood that they are the providers and the nurturers and that they have to be responsible for their family; be it their old parents or the wife or the children. This leads to men feeling anxious and stressed out when they feel that they are unable to meet the financial expectations due to an unstable work environment.
Also known as manic depression, bipolar disorder is a mental health disorder where people experience the extreme myriad of emotions for hours at a stretch. A certain bipolar disorder patient had described the condition as “my mind would race from fears, obsessions, fantasies, disturbing thoughts to pinning questions. It is highly exhausting as well as dangerous to struggle with so many thought patterns, all at once.”
The famous rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh was also affected by Bipolar disorder.
Male suicide is on the rise in India … When are we going to talk about it?
Very less is being spoken about or reported about male suicide. The number is gradually on the rise and hardly any steps are taken to improve the condition. It is one of the leading causes of deaths among men in India. A failed suicide leads to a number of mental health disorders among men.
Here are some risk factors among male suicide:
For long, a bisexual and gay relationship was not accepted in India. The family and the society ousted them and called them as mentally ill. They considered suicide as the best form of a rebel. Still, today, when gay relationships have been legalized, parents and society fail to accept them. This has to lead to an increased rate in suicide attempts, especially before 25 years of age.
How many incidents do we get to know about on a daily basis that the cause of suicide in that certain man was due to lack of job availability? Since men have often been considered wholly responsible for their family, a lack of job makes them feel worthless.
Mental instability is also another cause of the growing suicide rate among men. Since men often don’t seek medical help for their mental health, it gets worse over time and leads to them self-harming and finally killing themselves.
The problem among men and their worse mental health is they are not yet ready to open up to medical assistance as women. However, many male celebrities have spoken about depression and mental health issues on the attempt to raise awareness among the common.
Dwayne Johnson, Michael Phelps, Jim Carrey, Chris Evans, Karan Johar, Honey Singh have all fought through depression and other mental health issues but have survived it as they considered taking medical help.
It’s ok to not be ok. Men need support too just as women do. You don’t need to fight it all alone. Seek medical assistance; visit a psychiatrist when you feel you are tearing up from within. Suicide is not a solution; don’t contemplate suicide to get rid of your mental issue.