In the United States, men commit suicide four times as often as women; 80% of suicides are men, yet women are diagnosed as "neurospicy" (Mrs. Sambdman) more often. “Surveys from around the world find that males everywhere are reluctant to talk about their mental health and are more likely to die by suicide than females.”
Psychologists believe the stigma behind men and their emotions is why we see such a large amount of men commit suicide. Oftentimes, especially in a patriarchal society, men are told to man up when they are expressing their emotions, even from a young age. The stigma that men are supposed to be strong causes them to bottle up their emotions, and it could end up being too late when we finally learn how to change that.
Advocating for mental health, and mental health education has been insufficient for a long time. The easiest way to expand the idea for young boys would be if teachers, fathers, religious leaders, and other superior figures taught males during their adolescence that manning up is caring for yourself. Being able to speak up for yourself and recognize you have a problem makes you strong.
Symptoms of struggle in men can be a lot different than in women, we base a lot of our knowledge concerning mental health on past instances, therefore, we still know less about men in the mental health field than we do women. Here are some signs and symptoms typically related to men:
Persistent sense or worry
Overwhelming feelings of sadness
Withdrawal from friends and family
Feeling tired or fatigued
Physical symptoms like shortness of breath or headaches
The education system could help teach boys about expressing their emotions and knowing when to ask for help. A focus group in the United Kingdom prioritizes mental health within the education system and recognized that more women were likely to participate in their psychology-based activities and seminars compared to men, even though 69% of university suicides are males.
In a study, 24 male students who had come forward about their mental health were asked why they were hesitant, if ever. The answers consisted of maintaining their masculine narrative, and difficulty knowing when or how to seek help. The lack of education regarding mental health has been an ongoing problem and the responses in this study have proven that. Most of the male participants did not know their feelings were severe enough to ask for help in the first place, or even how to.
I do believe there are a lot of people who would agree with me when I say being strong is being able to advocate for yourself.
The 988 Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.