“Be a man.”
I’m sure every guy has heard this phrase at least once in their life, but what does it really mean to be a man? Most of us were probably raised to believe that expressing emotion or asking for help is a sign of weakness, and that “strong” men keep their feelings hidden. This style of distorted thinking has led to a vicious cycle of men refusing to reach out for help with their mental health issues, even when they feel like they’re drowning. The number of men with a mental health issue has been increasing at an alarming rate. Current research shows that roughly six million men struggle with depression each year in the United States, and suicide is now the seventh leading cause of death among men. However, even with the increase in men’s mental health cases, a large number of men are still terrified to ask for help.
The most important thing anyone can do for a man who is struggling is to let him know that he does not need to “tough it out.” There are plenty of ways that he can find help and improve his quality of life.
Find a Support Group
Remember you are not alone. While you may feel like no one understands, or that you are a bother to those around you, isolation will only make your life more difficult. Finding a support group that you can open up to, whether it is made up of friends or family, will only reap benefits for both parties.
Learn Healthy Coping Mechanisms
Even with a group in you corner, life is not perfect and difficulties will still arise. It is imperative that you learn how to deal with difficult emotions in healthy ways. The methods that work for one person may not work for another, but I have found a few that work especially well for me.
- Breathing Exercises- Taking ten minutes by yourself to just take deep breaths can help way more than you might think.
- Exercise- Maybe you don’t like intense cardio or weightlifting, but even going outside and taking a walk can relieve stress and prepare you for any more problems that come about.
Talking to a Professional
While reaching out to a professional is not an option for everyone, I am a firm believer that anyone who has the ability to see a therapist should at least try it. If you want to a more in depth look as to why I believe this, check out my article below.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. In fact, realizing that you are struggling and doing something to fix it is one of the bravest things you can do. You do not need to struggle alone.
Be a man and ask for help.
Thank you Zach for reaching out and writing this post which offers a different perspective that so many people need to hear. I believe Men’s Mental Health is crucial, and it’s advocates like you that can truly make a difference. Like he said, be sure to check out The College Mind a website founded by him! There’s some great content over there that many students could find helpful!
Moving into 2022 aMAEzing posts will be quarterly, so be sure to be on the lookout for the next upload. Overall, I am wishing every a fabulous holiday season and an even better new year!!