Mental illness affects both men and women, however, women are more inclined to expressing their feelings while men normally keep their emotions hidden. The role of men is always seen as being the providers, the caretakers and the pillars of strength. How can they, then fall weak? Men always put on a strong, fearless face because that’s what society expects of them. This has caused severe crisis in men’s mental health.
Here are 3 conditions that affect men’s mental health the most:
Depression affects 44% of the integral population in Pakistan. Depression is a common mental disorder, characterized by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of tiredness and poor concentration. It is more than just feeling unhappy or sad for a few days. We all go through different cycles of emotions but when you’re depressed you feel low on energy for weeks, months or even years.
Anxiety is not the shivers you get once in a while. It is the continuous condition of your body that interferes with its normal functioning. You cannot see anxiety but it takes a toll on a person who is experiencing it. It feels like your heart and body cells are fleeting and everything seems blurry and noisy. People with anxiety worry persistently and lose the ability to focus. It makes it difficult for the person to relax and causes uncertainty and indecisiveness.
Suicidal thoughts arise when people are no longer able to deal with a crushing situation. This could be financial, the death of somebody they love, or a distressing illness. This feeling leads to a thought or assumption that taking their own life is the only solution to their problems.
What can you do?
Make time for your close family members and friends. Spending quality time with them is important and good for you. Spend time and invest more in your relationships with your loved ones to live a healthy life.
Talk about it
Just being there for someone and listening to them can be lifesaving. Make sure that your male friends and family members can rely on you and don’t be ashamed or worried to ask them for help yourself. Talking about how you feel is crucial.
Be more active
If you’re not a very physically active person, take small steps to bring more activity in your daily routine. Do things that make you feel good and energized. Take the stairs instead of the lift, park your car a little far from your destination or just spend some time at home doing small exercises.
There is a cultural barrier associated with men that prevents them from seeking help. They are expected to be strong at all times and tears are seen to be a sign of weakness and feminine. If men are able to ask for help when they need it the most, millions of illnesses can be prevented. As friends or family members, encourage the talk about how they feel and listen to them. Mental illness are no different than a physical illness and there is no harm in seeking help.
Rabiya Mumtaz is a practicing Mental Health Counselor based in Lahore. She is well versed in her field and provides professional treatment. You can now ask her a question or have a video appointment with Rabiya Mumtaz without having to leave your home! Sign up to book an appointment with her here