This content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide medical advice.
Mental health is crucial for everyone’s well-being. Regardless of gender, it should be taken seriously. Men’s mental health is often overlooked, even stigmatized.
This guide will discuss what mental health is, what makes it worse, and how we can make it a serious issue going forward. Mental health isn’t just focusing on mental illnesses.
It also focuses on how it can be improved and maintained throughout your life. As a man, you’ll want to place mental health high up in your list of priorities. To do that, you can start by following this guide so you know what steps to take.
Let’s get started.
Know that drugs and alcohol are not the solution
One of the worst things a man can do is indulge in drugs or alcohol. Especially if they are dealing with mental health issues. If you or someone you know is dealing with this, get the professional help you need as soon as possible.
A detox center in North Carolina such as New Waters Recovery can be able to help. Instead of using drugs and alcohol to ‘self-medicate’, it’s important to adopt other healthy coping mechanisms. If there is one thing that will make mental health disorders worse, it’s developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol.
The dialogue about men and mental health
One of the pieces of dialogue circulating is that men should not be ‘expressing their emotions’. This tends to be a long-known stigma as men are believed to be strong and emotionless. Some may even say expressing emotions of sadness may be portrayed as weakness.
However, this shouldn’t be the case. In a world where the conversations of ‘what’s masculine and what isn’t’, there seems to be a number of misnomers and false facts. A man’s mental health is important as anyone else’s.
It is important that we take a look at the real dialogue. That it is healthy and normal for anyone, regardless of gender, to express their emotions. Withholding that emotion is known to do more harm than good (both physically and mentally).
Those who tend to listen to the ‘don’t express your emotions’ crowd may take it at face value. And they may spread the dialogue to others. The reality here is that it’s an unhealthy thing to do.
If you are struggling, it’s OK to talk to someone you trust in private. Do not be afraid to express your emotions in a healthy way. In fact, it will do wonders for both your physical and mental health in the long run.
Not knowing the signs of mental health disorders is dangerous
One of the many things that can make a man’s mental health worse is not knowing. Specifically, being unaware and not knowing the signs and symptoms of a mental disorder. This can happen both ways.
In one way, it can be someone observing a man acting unusual or out of character. Some signs may be obvious that they are in mental distress. However, other signs will be more subtle and fly under the radar (thus making them unrecognizable to the untrained eye).
On the other end, you have yourself in first-person view. You are acting in a way that doesn’t seem normal. You’re experiencing various moods, lacking interest in the things you love, not social, or anything that may seem out of character.
You may be unsure whether you have a mental health disorder or not. The best way to know this is to see a mental health professional. They may also refer you to a medical professional in order to get an official mental health diagnosis.
From there, it is important for a man to get the mental health services they need. Failure to do so will make things worse. The sooner someone gets help, the better.
Unchecked stress can make mental health worse
Stress is often unavoidable. However, leaving it unchecked can lead to mental health issues in men. That is why it is important to find ways to cope with the stress on a regular basis.
As mentioned earlier, unhealthy mechanisms such as drugs or alcohol are not the answer. One way to beat stress is practicing regular mindfulness. This will allow someone to take a few moments out of their day and do a breathing exercise in a quiet environment.
What mindfulness does is help someone become more calm and aware of their thoughts and feelings. It will put someone in the driver’s seat on how they can deal with them. A man can take advantage of mindfulness to ensure the preservation of their mental health.
It’s important that you consider utilizing this practice on a regular basis. This way, you’ll be able to have a go-to thing to do if and when stress seems to be creeping up.
Poor work-life balance affects mental health
Men who work be it in an office or remote setting must take work/life balance seriously. Yes, meeting goals and deadlines is one thing. But overworking can lead to an imbalance of your work and personal life.
This kind of imbalance can lead to poor mental health. Plus, there’s the issue of a lack of sleep, exercise, and diet. All of these can be snowballed into one major problem that can affect your mental health.
If you’re an employer, find a way to make it easier on your employees to find that perfect work/life balance. If you are an employee, you may want to find ways to make it possible.
Men’s mental health should be taken seriously. Leaving it unchecked will make things worse. Make sure that your stress is managed and your work/life balance is enough to make things easier.
On top of this, it’s time we talk more about improving our mental health. Meanwhile, we must ditch the stigmas of expressing emotion. Doing so doesn’t make men weak and less than what they are, but withholding those emotions is a form of fear that some men have.
Whether they know it or not, it says that they are vulnerable and afraid without saying it.
This content is brought to you by New Waters Recovery.
Photo by nappy