Male Mental Health

I hope you don’t mind, but I’d like to start today’s post by asking you all a couple of questions…

How many guys do you know who are open and honest

about their mental health?

I’ll give you a second to think about this.

Hmmm…

Can I guess? I’m going to take a punt here and say very few… certainly no more than five.

Was I right?

Out of all the mental-health focused blogs that you read and follow,

how many would you say are written by guys?

I’ll give you a second to think about this.

Hmmm…

Can I guess? I’m going to take a punt here and say very few…

Was I right?

 

Sorry for repeating myself, though I suspect that you have too. Right?

Perhaps I can go some way in explaining this phenomenon by stating that gender stereotypes exist, still. Yes, even in a world which tells us that they don’t. They do!

There is a definite societal pressure depending on your gender and this extends to how we tolerate mental health problems.

Society still tells us that girls talk through their problems, whilst guys bottle them up. Once you realise this, you’ll start seeing it everywhere – TV, film, books.

So is it really that simple? Are we only conforming to the pre-agreed stereotype? Or maybe it’s because guys have fewer mental health problems than girls.

And yes, some people believe that that’s true.

They couldn’t be more wrong…

 

  • Only 36% of referrals to psychological therapies are men.
  • Suicide is the biggest cause of death for men under the age of 45.
  • Of all the suicides recorded in the UK in 2014, 76% were male. This has been a fairly constant trend of the last three decades.
  • Figures collated by the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) show that there were 4,623 male suicides in the UK in 2014 – the equivalent to 12 deaths a day.

 

I came across an article in The Times Magazine published on Saturday, concerning male mental health. I have copied out a little piece of the text here. I could not agree with it more…

The problem is not that young men are more prone to depression or mental health issues than women (they are not), but rather they are much, much worse at dealing with it. They are less likely to seek help, to discuss their state of mind with friends or family, or even fully understandΒ themselves that there is something wrong.

I’d like to remind you of your two answers to the questions I opened the post with. I’d estimate that 90% of mental-health focused blogs I’ve come across are written by women.

What do you think?

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67 Comments Add yours

  1. Sweta Ojha says:

    I agree. Informative and great write-up.

    1. M_McKeen says:

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment πŸ™‚

      1. Sweta Ojha says:

        Read it twice only to figure out how important the post is. I’d like to congratulate you for the courage and the initiative. Well done.

      2. M_McKeen says:

        Thank you. Just hope that this can help others suffering in silence. We don’t need to bottle everything inside, the pressure will take it’s toll and one day we’ll explode

      3. Sweta Ojha says:

        Absolutely. One should not bottle things inside. To be able to share , feel and react is a sign of good mental health. This article is going to help. πŸ™‚ I hope the same.

  2. This is a GREAT post, Matt. I absolutely agree with you. It’s not that men don’t struggle with mental health issues as much a women, but rather that due to not wanting to be judged, they probably don’t share how they feel as much. I think it’s great that you talk about your health issues and that you’re raising awareness. You should be extremely proud of yourself!

    1. M_McKeen says:

      Thanks so much B, I’m not as honest as I’d like to be in everyday life, but I’m still trying. I just hope that someone reading this will find the courage to share their own story! πŸ™‚

      1. I’m sure they will! You’ve inspired me!

      2. M_McKeen says:

        That means so much to me! πŸ™‚

      3. You can read my story, “The 0.05 Cu. Ft. Cell”, parts one and two, on http://www.justdrivewillyou.com. I wrote it in the hope of maybe helping some men out there who suffer, but can’t bring themselves to get help.

      4. M_McKeen says:

        Thank you for sending me a link, I can relate to so much of what you said in both posts. Just wish there were more guys out there happy to be as open and honest

  3. Reblogged this on Getting Through Anxiety and commented:
    Matt talks about male mental health and the misconception that men don’t struggle as much as women. Please check out this wonderful post and Matt’s amazing blog!

  4. Reblogged this on bookmarkchronicles and commented:
    THIS. This is so important!

    1. M_McKeen says:

      Thank you! πŸ™‚

      1. No problem! This is a great post! πŸ™‚

  5. Reblogged this on ENLIGHTENMENT ANGELS and commented:
    MALE MENTAL HEALTH

  6. I agree that there are more posts from women suffering from depression, I thought younger males found it easier to talk about it, I don’t see it as a weakness I see it as a strength to talk about depression. Great post

    1. M_McKeen says:

      I think you’re right. There is a definite change in the mentality of young adults to talk about their mental state more often, but it’s not enough. We need to realise that we will not be judged for being honest, but rather admired for telling the truth. Thank you

      1. The more men that open up and stop seeing it as a weakness the better. We are all human πŸ˜¬πŸ™ƒπŸ˜€

      2. M_McKeen says:

        Could not agree with you more! Small steps. Just trying to do my bit! πŸ™‚

      3. And you are doing a brilliant job too πŸ˜‰

      4. M_McKeen says:

        Thank you! πŸ™‚

  7. Reblogged this on πŸ™„ Elaine's Bloggers Paradise 😳 and commented:
    I found this interesting, I think it shows strength to talk about depression, its nothing to be ashamed about. I believe that most people suffer at some stage and they become stronger through the experience

  8. I believe you are correct my Angel. And, it is a shame. More men should feel free and be more open. It is ok and women like a man who can talk and will talk about his feelings/emotions/stresses, etc. We are all only human and holding it in is not healthy. You have to release it, talk about it, and let it go. I wish more men believed in this and felt this way. Trust me when I say, women would truly appreciate that and welcome more conversations. Always with Light and Love my Angel! Great post!

    1. M_McKeen says:

      I completely agree with you, just wish more guys realised this. It’d make such a difference in their life. I should probably follow my own advice a bit more in truth :/ Thank you for the support!

  9. You’re absolutely right. Men with mental health struggles risk violating certain cultural norms when they are honest and talk through their feelings. It’s sad, but these stereotypes still exist. There are some male mental health bloggers that I can think of, but they’re fewer and farther between. I certainly hope you continue your important mental health writing, despite the fact that you are surrounded by female mental health bloggers! You have things to say that no one else can say, Matt!

    1. M_McKeen says:

      Haha no I’m afraid you’re all going to have to put up with me a little while longer!! Well that’s the plan at least πŸ™‚ It’s sad that these stereotypes still exist in the 21st century, and it’s not just limited to male mental health either unfortunately :/

      1. I’m glad to hear that! Yes, there are many nuances / faces of stereotype…but it’s important that you bring attention to this particular face of it.

  10. Ariel Lynn says:

    Reblogged this on Writing Radiation and commented:
    The timing of this post is really on point. I was discussing the concerns my hetero-lifemate has with her lovely boyfriend who struggles to talk about his feelings & bottles them up until he explodes.

    I have to admit, it’s something I worry about (not only for my bestie, but for my male friends & loved ones). While it’s not a topic I’d feel comfortable talking about myself, as I have no first-hand experience, In Silence We Suffer dissects it really well.

    It makes no person – male or female – weak to talk about feelings. Personally, I find it endearing. ❀

  11. My personal and professional experiences are in line with these statistics. It would be wonderful if we equipped our young boys and men with the skills to seeks and find help when it is needed!

    1. M_McKeen says:

      That’s definitely something worth working towards!

  12. Jeyran Main says:

    You have a very beautiful website. I look forward to coming back and reading more. Please stop by mine and if you like, follow back.

    1. M_McKeen says:

      Will do! Thanks πŸ™‚

  13. This is so important and people need to know about this, our mental health is a very delicate matter, and no matter what gender we need to be able to talk about it, really good post, thank you

    1. M_McKeen says:

      Thank you, I completely agree with your sentiment. Small steps

  14. Great post, such an important issue and one sadly still not spoken about enough. Each person like you speaking out begins to make it easier for people to open up and makes help more accessible to others. Well done πŸ™‚

    1. M_McKeen says:

      Thank you, and thanks for taking the time to read my post and share your comment. That’s my aim, it’s what keeps me motivated to keep on blogging! I’m sure you do a great job too! πŸ™‚

  15. I am starting to tell my story now. I am a 26 year old male and have been battling mental health issues for 10 years now. I agree that men need to understand the signs of issues and be “man” enough to seek help quick. There is a reason male suicide rates are higher, and as you stated it isn’t a difference in mind, more so the indifference in our society that doesn’t allow males to show softness or the need for help.

    1. M_McKeen says:

      Slowly things will change. I’m sure your blog will help be a part of that. The more people like you, who are open and honest about the challenges we face, the better things will be one day.

  16. windelow says:

    I agree with this- it is darn hard finding other guys happy to talk about their mental illness, I think because mental illness is so stigmatized in modern culture by the notion we are victimized by it. Some of the most amazing people you will ever meet suffer from some form of mental illness, and I’m glad you’re speaking up for them πŸ™‚

    1. M_McKeen says:

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, my words count for little if it weren’t for people like you who actually read them! One step at a time! πŸ™‚

  17. achavers22 says:

    Thanks for talking about this. Riding the roller coaster can really be hell, in ways no one understands. And a lot of men don’t report their symptoms, so they’re severely outnumbered, in terms of representation. I’ve had the same issues: feeling ashamed of my problems, and yet wanting to scream them. But, in the worst moments, I try to think of other people who’ve gone through the same thing, and it makes me realize that it’s possible.

    1. M_McKeen says:

      It’s something I never used to realise – the huge number of people who have felt the same way. In a weird way, it helps. It helps to know that I’m not alone.

  18. You make a good point here. As young man indeed in many cases may neglect their mental world in some ways while hunting for career, the kind of mid-life phase where men catch-up with their emotional life and personal development (e.g., also in spiritual ways) is an important consideration too. Hope that many reach this stage of increasing mental maturity as early as possible:-)

  19. Rob says:

    Much of my healing these past 3 months or so has been as a direct result of my sharing my entire life, good, bad, ugly, great, on my blog. I so agree! Keep up the Writing.

    1. M_McKeen says:

      Thank you. I have been struggling to find the motivation recently, but I know it’s something that I need to do. Writing has helped me so much, and I’m glad that it has helped you too. Long may it continue! Thanks for providing the motivation for today!

      1. Rob says:

        You MUST continue to write. For folks suffering I truly believe it is the ONLY way–oftentimes–that we find an outlet to release the pressure.

      2. M_McKeen says:

        I couldn’t agree more. It provides a structure and a focus, whether I’m having a good day or a bad one.

  20. DR.JIP says:

    You are quite right! Most men are just too shy to openly admit their problems. They just can’t express their feelings the right way.

  21. addwillms20 says:

    I agree fully with this. Thank you for writing it. It’s a shame the numbers in men seeking help is so much lower than that of women. I also want to be able to raise profile of men talking about mental health issues. Thanks again

  22. becky91093 says:

    I agree, from both a professional and personal level, on how important it is for men to talk about their mental health! I can’t think of any blogs written by men on this topic too..

    1. M_McKeen says:

      I’m glad that you agree that this is something that needs to be addressed. It’s good to know

  23. sana538 says:

    Very well written loving this post and true not many of us talk about it glad you spoken out it means a lot keep it upπŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌ

    Do check out my blog posts I’m new to this blogging world would love to know what you think 😊

    1. M_McKeen says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment, words like yours give me the motivation to keep on writing! I’ll definitely take a look! All the best πŸ™‚

  24. Dana Tintor says:

    I agree completely! I was thinking a lot about that. And how men are under a lot of pressure to stay “manly”… It seems to me that most men don’t realize that because they don’t know any different, it’s normal for them to keep feelings for themselves… I think it’s a topic that should be discussed much more.

    1. M_McKeen says:

      I hope it is on the rise. That we can all feel safe in telling the truth. It’s scary though.

  25. juleselbaba says:

    awesome! please check mine out: https://juleselbaba.wordpress.com/blog/

    1. M_McKeen says:

      Thank you! Will do 😊

  26. begeltherapy says:

    Your observation is spot on. But I write a psychotherapy blog with a male colleague and buddy, Dr. David Keith. He’s a family therapist/child psychiatrist. Check us out.

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