Women were the focus of mental health research because of the higher rates of diagnosed mental disorders and the use of mental health facilities.
The mental health of men was a silent crisis, but there are signs that it is awakening. In addition, there is evidence that more young and middle-aged people are currently hospitalized for mental illness, just as there is evidence that new fathers are becoming vulnerable to a depressive illness after giving birth.
In Canada, for example, it was found that 10 percent of men experience symptoms of mental disorder and substance dependence, compared with nine percent of women.
In the United Kingdom, depression studies show a significant shift in traditional gender imbalance, with depressive illness increasing among men and decreasing among women. However, the biggest evidence of male vulnerability is suicide statistics, in which, among Canadians of all ages, four out of every five suicides are committed by men.
In the UK, men are about three times more likely to kill themselves than women. Articles of newspapers and magazines continue to appear on topics such as reducing the proportion of boys who graduated from high school and college, mainly due to mental health problems. Television and radio talk shows regularly focus on changing the role of men, as women are increasingly entering the social work force and challenging traditional, restrictive, female roles.
In addition to the biological definition of masculinity, the social consequences of masculinity in our dynamically changing culture can explain this emerging mental health burden.
There is strong evidence that men also practice more unhealthy behaviors than women, which can invariably have foundations and consequences for mental health.
Male and public sentiments contributed to the silence about the mental health of men. The women's health movement is very self-directed, since men, through cultural lenses, must be tough and strong. Our society punishes gender deviation in men very well, since any form of weakness is not considered masculine.
The cultural code regulating the behavior of men is one of the main obstacles preventing them from seeking help. It is easier for men to recognize physical rather than emotional symptoms; therefore, their health problems are not diagnosed.
Men can understand that he is weak and is unjust to confess feelings of despair. Cultural beliefs about masculinity also contribute to the general lack of interest of men in mental health problems, since many of them do not just believe that they are prone to mental health problems.
Men can describe their own symptoms of depression without realizing that they are depressed. They have no connection between their mental health and physical symptoms, such as headaches, digestive symptoms and chronic pain.
In men, mental illness can be disguised, as women are more likely to recognize a disease and consult a doctor. The consequences of masked depression in men can be devastating, as they can act in the form of excessive hostility and irritability, verbal violence and offense, especially in marital relationships. Some may even accept excessive drinking, drug addiction and indiscriminate sex shoots.
In addition, in the event of a breakdown in marriage, there is a very important connection between the mental health of a person and how a divorce takes place. When children participate and a person maintains a permanent relationship, adaptation is better. But in the event of a complete rupture, a person may become suicidal.
Unemployment or a decline in employment can negatively affect the spotlight of men. Physical illness, especially life-threatening conditions, can be a trigger for depression, especially when it affects a person’s feelings and strength.
In Nigeria, we may not have media reports and eloquent statistics illustrating this new trend in men's mental health, but the truth is that these problems exist. With the advent of Western influence on our traditional cultural values, men had to pay a huge price of mental health. The reality of modern marriage experience reflects this conflict, since our women are financially and socially authorized teams, not previous passive subordinates.
A large number of men are confused with undiagnosed depressive illness disguised by physical problems. The economic crisis of the war years ousted many growing families, creating a situation that affected the proper upbringing of male children by single mothers.
More time and resources should be devoted to teaching our male children to prepare them to solve the problems of manhood. Married women should try to cultivate true masculinity in their husbands, and not shatter their ego. There should be clubs and other social patterns that allow men to express their mental health problems with opportunities for consultation.
Visiting doctors, whether in public or private practice, the possibility of mental health problems among men who often come to the consultation with the possibility of the appropriate direction should be explored.
All rights reserved. This material and other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior written permission from PUNCH.
The contact person: [email protected]
(Visited 1 time, 1 visits today)