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Debunking Myths of Men’s Mental Health

Debunking Myths of Men’s Mental Health

By Andy Greene

Unfortunately there exist many commonly shared myths about men’s mental health. Here are four of them and why they are not true or factual.

Myth No. 1: Men just don’t get emotional.
One of the most common myths is that men just don’t have or express as many emotions. Many people even feel like men shouldn’t even show ANY strong emotions in general – and, of course, this is both incredibly unhealthy and unrealistic. Although there are small differences between opposite sexes, this perceived notion that men don’t, can’t, or shouldn’t feel their feelings is just a result of a toxic society.

Myth No. 2: Men Can Recover On Their Own
The next common myth is that men just don’t need treatment for their mental health – that they can just “get over it”, “shrug it off”, or “man up”. Sadly, a lot of men take this to heart, and it shows in statistics – according to one study, women are more likely to report mental health related symptoms to their provider. [1] It should go without saying that men should most certainly get help for their conditions, especially when they feel that their possible conditions are negatively impacting their life in any way. Plus, the sooner they’re diagnosed, the faster and quicker their recovery will be!

Myth No. 3: Men with Mental Illness Are Violent
Another myth is that men with mental health problems are always violent and should be avoided at all costs. This is a myth that should raise red flags right away. It’s pure scaremongering; mental health conditions by themselves don’t make a person violent. The mind is complicated, and quite serious – it isn’t like some melodramatic show. You don’t “turn” or become somebody else just because you develop a condition. In any case, many mental health conditions are largely nonviolent, and a great number of them are also hidden – meaning that the symptoms don’t necessarily show on the outside. This is especially true for men, who may already have trouble showing their emotions due to a number of factors.

Myth No. 4: Some Disorders Don’t Affect Men
This next myth is quite odd, but it’s one that is also quite popular. Some people truly believe that there are certain mental health disorders that just don’t affect men, in particular, eating disorders. Even if there’s fewer men with eating disorders than women, men can suffer with them just the same. In fact, about one out of every three people who struggle with an eating disorder is male. [2] Unfortunately, many men often feel quite embarrassed about developing eating disorders, and it’s one of the more common ones that they might try to hide – but hiding it can be incredibly dangerous and life-threatening. Another example of this is post-partum depression, which can also affect new dads. In the US, paternal postpartum depression (PPD) occurs in approximately one out of every four new fathers in the first four weeks. [3]

Men’s mental health should be taken seriously, and the facts should be spread. Men shouldn’t ever feel the need to hide their pain or just wait for it to blow over – they ought to be allowed the chance to access mental healthcare just as easily as they ought to be able to get treatment for a sprained ankle. With the suicide rate for men looking around 3.5 times higher than it is for women, it’s no wonder people might be worried about the state of men and mental health. [4]

Hopefully, these debunked myths helped you shape a new opinion on men and their mental health. At the end of the day, stay active, stay aware, and most of all don’t let the expectations of others get you down.

IF YOU OR A MAN IN YOUR LIFE STRUGGLES WITH MINDCARE, OUR PROVIDERS CAN HELP! CLICK HERE TO FIND A SPECIALIST NEAR YOU OR CALL US AT 877-876-3783.

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Sources:
1. “Gender Differences in Mental Health.” RAMH, https://ramh.org/guide/gender-differences-in-mental-health/

2. https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/learn/general-information/research-on-males

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2922346/
4. Kennard, Jerry. “Why More Men Are Taking Their Own Lives.” Verywell Mind, 1 Sept. 2019, https://www.verywellmind.com/men-and-suicide-2328492

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