How “Man Up” Hurts Mental Health
Mental illness does not discriminate. It shows no preference for race, income, or gender. It’s still common for men who have mental illness to be teased, dismissed, or even told to “man-up” instead of seeking help. While most people would never think of performing surgery on themselves, many men feel pressure to deal with mental health issues on their own. Trying to do it on your own can be hard.
Mental health is not a battle that can be won through physical strength or a stiff upper lip. Anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental illness do not respond to silent suffering. In fact, the most effective treatments involve talking in therapy and shining a light on those dark places many men are encouraged to wall off, shake off, or ignore.
The American Psychological Association estimates that nine percent of men experience depression or anxiety on a daily basis, and they are four times more likely to die by suicide than women. The American Psychological Association estimates that nine percent of men experience depression or anxiety on a daily basis, and they are four times more likely to die by suicide than women. Pressure from society often prevents men from seeking help. Men also are more likely to deny they have a problem and use self-treatment (including drugs and alcohol) instead of seeking out professional help. This denial and secrecy can mean a wrong diagnosis of the problem, leading to care that doesn’t work and increased chances of suicide and self-harm.