The most common mental health conditions that occur for men, yet are vastly underreported, are depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Rather than speak openly about their struggles, most men tend to hide these emotions, largely due to a sense of “self-stigma” that pervades over the consequences of being openly vulnerable, particularly with other men.
If you or a loved one is experiencing feelings of depression, anxiety, or any other forms of distress, seeking out professional counseling is a great first step. However, here are some general tips.
A great way to combat symptoms of depression in men in through forms of connection.
Calling, visiting, going out to eat, playing a sport together, or just scheduling time with a male friend is a simple yet powerful method to combat the loneliness that is plaguing millions of men, especially as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. Many men are feeling disconnected and a simple, yet often overlooked strategy is to simply to connect with these men. Calling men and visiting men whom you know are living alone is one very strong place to start, as well as finding organizational activities, such as sports and other forms of leisure, can allow men to feel more comfortable discussing their feelings and feel a greater sense of connection and purpose with others.
Friends and acquaintances of men can also help to destigmatize the idea of men seeking help in the form of counselors and therapists but supporting those ideas as ways to build a sense of strength and improvement in men.
Why not call, text, or email men whom you have not spoken to in a while, or you are currently living alone. What if we were to normalize the experience of expressing emotions in men in a way that won’t be stigmatized or judged? How can we make the expression of sensitivity in men something that can be seen as an asset and gift for men themselves and those around them in their life?
On a personal level, men can consider looking into group-oriented therapies as well if they are specifically seeking out a sense of camaraderie in their wellness journey. In addition, men can find groups that they believe best resonate with them, whether that be in terms of particular activities and hobbies. There is also evidence that points to the improvement in men’s mental health after psychotherapeutic intervention.
As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important that we as a society set our sights on the pandemic of depression, distress, and loneliness in men. If a culture can be created that not only normalizes but encourages a sense of looking after the wellness of all individuals, including men, this can only allow for a greater sense of positivity, innovation, and other forms of gifts that may otherwise never be made available to the world. The time to truly make mental health for all, and particularly for men, is now.
Below Are a List of Resources Which May Be Helpful for You or a Loved One: