Men and Mental Health: A Stigma

Mental health is a key aspect of overall well-being. If ignored or taken lightly, it can swallow lives, which is often the case. An analysis conducted by the Asian Journal of Psychiatry in 2023, examining newspaper reports…

June 8, 2024

Mental health is a key aspect of overall well-being. If ignored or taken lightly, it can swallow lives, which is often the case. An analysis conducted by the Asian Journal of Psychiatry in 2023, examining newspaper reports of suicide cases, shows that males were more frequently reported, accounting for 65% of cases, compared to 35% for females. This highlights the pressing need to bring attention to this issue and take proactive measures to address it

Savaira is dedicated to shedding light on this critical issue, particularly focusing on men's mental health and invites everyone, regardless of gender, to be vocal about their concerns and seek professional help whenever they need it. Let's break the silence and support each other in prioritising mental health.

The Silent Suffering: Mental Health Statistics of Pakistani Men

Despite its significance and prevalence, men's mental health remains heavily stigmatised, especially among Pakistanis. A shroud of silence surrounds men's mental health as they are trapped by social expectations and emotional constraints, the burden keeps piling up, causing them to struggle in silence.

Mental health issues among Pakistani men are alarmingly prevalent but grossly underreported. According to the Dawn, 2018 survey, 72% of respondents were male, aged between 18-20, who had personally thought about taking their lives or had witnessed other men take their lives. The major reasons cited for contemplating suicide included mental illness and financial troubles​.

The burden of being the primary breadwinner in a challenging economic environment eventually leads to immense stress and anxiety. According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the unemployment rate among men aged 20-29 is approximately 10.7%, a figure that reflects not just economic distress but also its psychological impact.

Why stigma silences men?

In today's world, mental health is often discussed, yet stigma persists across social, self, cultural, and professional spheres. This presents barriers for those in need of support, making it challenging to open up about their struggles and seek help.

Stereotypes further reinforce these stigmas, such as the belief that discussing mental health indicates weakness. These beliefs make it harder for individuals to seek professional support.

Societal gender roles play a big role in reinforcing the silence among men. From a young age, boys are often taught not to express their emotions, with phrases like "boys don't cry" ingrained in their minds. This message makes it challenging for them to discuss their feelings as they grow older.

This reluctance to talk about emotions extends to the workplace as well, where men feel pressured to hide their struggles, such as demotions or lack of bonuses, fearing they'll appear weak or burden others with their problems.

These stigmas potentially create a suffocating pressure to meet societal expectations, particularly as providers. This leads to overwhelming feelings of misery and, in severe cases, thoughts of giving up. As a result, many men believe that keeping their emotions to themselves is the solution. However, without even realising they start developing symptoms of serious mental health issues, including stress, PTSD, anxiety, depression, and more.

To break this cycle, we must encourage open discussions about mental health and provide support to those in need.

Empowering men's mental health awareness and support

Men who face mental health challenges often shift to self-destructive behaviours rather than seeking the help they need. They fear judgement, negative societal perceptions, and the titles like they are not masculine enough if they seek treatment. Unfortunately, stigma, prejudice, and discrimination against men's mental health issues are widespread, due to a lack of understanding.

It's unfair to expect men to carry this burden without recognizing their own vulnerabilities and needs. These stigmas unfairly target masculinity and hinder men from seeking the support they require.

By reducing stigma and promoting understanding, we can create a healthier environment for men to express their emotions and seek help without fear of judgement. It's important to empower men to prioritise their mental well-being and break down the barriers.

Wrapping up

If you are a man reading this blog, it's okay to cry, to feel, and to express whatever goes through your head and heart. Savaira is here for you. You are seen, valued, appreciated, and understood.

Savaira is here to provide a safe and confidential space where you can be your true self and discuss your mental health with professionals without fear of judgement. Schedule an appointment now! Breaking the silence is the initial step towards healing. Give yourself a chance to heal, you deserve it.

Remember, seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. Take the first step towards a healthier and happier life. Contact us today, because to us, you matter.