Men’s Mental Health: Issue at its Climax

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Concept of urbanization and changing lifestyle has fain mankind to shift from traditional concept of community and functional role of male and female. According to traditional Indian philosophy, man and women are designed according to role they are supposed to play and their roles were complementary. Women’s were said by vedas to be mothers, naturally caring and expected to house-keep and raise children, Men’s are expected to support family, earn bread and protector of society. Both are meant to work together for perfect household and community.

Rapidly growing concept of Gender Equality and revolutionary movement of Feminism has brought change in traditional roles. Men and Women are trying hard to match footsteps with this concept. At Periphery it seems both have significantly worked hard to accept and do needful to fit in this new societal norm. Unfortunately, at core level concepts and traditions has undergone minimal transition. This giving rise to conflicts like:

Who is breadwinner? Who is primary? Who is secondary?

If there is Gender Equality why males are expected to play specifically defined role?

Why only Men are compulsively considered protectors of home and society?

Obviously answer to this lies in concept of primary and secondary duties of male and female. Needless to say, this very much leads to additional pressures to fulfill duties, it has increased the reach and level of success of defined role one is expected to perform.

In current economy, men are finding it difficult to play role of breadwinner considering high level of competition and unemployment issues with increasing population. Earning livelihood for family has high demands. Struggle to fulfill demands from self and expectation from others has gradually affected Men’s mental well being. This has affected powerful sense of pride,masculinity, purpose and meaning of life.

Mental well being of Men comparatively has received less attention then women in past couple of years. However, men are more likely to die by suicide than women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Another burning issue in men is substance abuse.

Why is it not as efficiently dealt?

Mental illness can cause different symptoms in men than in women. So some disorders in men may be harder to recognize. Men who are depressed, for example, may seem angry and grouchy rather than sad and withdrawn.

some warning signs:

  • Anger, irritability and aggressiveness
  • Loss of sleep or excessive sleep
  • Loss of appetite or increased appetite
  • Difficulty in concentration and focus
  • Increased worry and frustration
  • Anxiety and restlessness
  • Worthlessness and hopelessness
  • Suicidal ideations
  • Feeling paucity of emotions/ flat mood
  • Absurd aches and pains, headaches and digestive problems without clear causes
  • Unusual behaviors
  • Lack of interest and care for self
  • Difficulty in daily functions
  • Unusual thinking and behavior that concerns and affects others.

How can we begin to provide a better space for someone to live?

 

  • If above mentioned signs are noticed consistently, find time to talk about issues bothering the person
  • Help person identify causes and factors leading to such states
  • Share responsibilities and facilitate wellbeing
  • Provide an environment where a person can find time for himself
  • Play a complementary role and reduce competition
  • Give support and stop posing challenge
  • If above measures does not help , seek help of mental health professional for counseling or treatment as per requirement.

Remember: Mental Health issues are not different from any other physical health issues. They are subtle in beginning giving rise to most complex and huge impact on self, family and surroundings in later stages. Perhaps, Be aware and give support.

 

Dr Mansi Surati

MD HOM (Psychiatry)

Certified CBT therapist

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