Please Note: This article is presented for informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness. If you have any health concern, see a licensed healthcare professional in person.
Mental and behavioral disorders aren’t exclusive to one particular group: it affects people of all religions, tribes, races, classes, and countries. However, according to reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adolescent and young adult men are more prone to repressing mental health challenges than their female peers. Therefore conduct disorder, suicide rates, substance abuse, and interpersonal violence outweighs the likelihood of a mentally ill young man seeking help via traditional channels.
These male mental health statistics indicate that men generally get disconnected from health-care services as they hit adolescence. Additionally, the global burden of disease statistics shows that, after road accidents, intentional self-harm and interpersonal violence accounts for the second-highest cause of death in men between the ages of 15–25 years. This then raises questions on how best to respond to mental illness in men.
Well, rather than having to cure mental health illness, it is often better to take action to prevent these mental health problems from occurring. This article will be discussing some tips on how to avoid mental health disorders for young men.
Value and Embrace Yourself outside of Traditional Masculine Ideals
We’re all different, and that’s okay! So rather than try to fit someone else’s expectations of who you should be, it’s much healthier to express yourself as you truly are. In most societies today, young men are often expected to live up to traditional masculine ideals. You hear things such as men are not meant to cry, and men need to show extreme self-reliance and strength. Thus anything outside of these ideals might make others see you as dependent and weak; traits associated with femininity.
If you are a young man trying to live up to these traditional ideals, it ends up taking a significant toll on your mental health. While you are trying to live up to expectations, it conflicts with your values. You need to remember that it’s more important to live a life that is consistent with your values. Learn to build on your self-awareness, how you treat others, and want them to treat you. Then find ways to ensure your life is in keeping with your ideals. This is better for your mental health than responding to events habitually, without awareness or purpose.
Learn Resilience when Facing Heteronormativity Assumptions
Although data on the number of that men identify as gay in the US is limited, it is estimated to be somewhere between 2-10% of the population.
As a young gay man, you may have been marginalized or treated as confused, abnormal, or inferior as a result of heteronormativity. This is because heteronormativity sees heterosexuality as the standard sexual orientation and terms other sexual orientations as a deviation from what is considered normal. Having to deal with such assumptions not only leads to homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of prejudice and discrimination, it can have a direct impact on the mental and emotional wellbeing of those individuals.
Thus for a young man who identifies as gay, how are you able to find mental stability in a society that has a robust heteronormative stance? You will need to learn how to build resilience. Over the past decade, the concept of resilience has gained more ground on how it can foster the understanding of gay men’s capacities to fight or heal from traumatic experiences across their life spans. To build resilience, you will need to cultivate some protective processes such as:
- Building and sustaining networks
- Addressing mental health and
- Advocating for self
Practice Writing to Express Yourself and Ease Stress
As a young man navigating through life, it can get quite overwhelming sometimes. The pressure to be successful, well put together, and have everything all figured out tends to put a strain on your mental health. You can practice simple stress relief exercises such as yoga, tai chi, taking a walk in the park, or play with your pet. Also, remember to smile, laugh, and see the brighter side of life. Laughter is an amazing immune system booster; it eases pain, relaxes your body, and reduces stress.
Additionally, you can pick on writing to help boost your mental health. It has been proven that writing eases stress and anxiety, reduces depression, heals psychological and physical wounds, improves sleep, etc. Writing is like soul food. It can be very therapeutic and work wonders on your mental health. When we write down our feelings, thoughts, experiences, and actions, it allows you to carve out your thoughts carefully and maintain a sense of self and identity.
Besides, you can also share your writing and experiences via blogging. There are professional writing services review websites like Pick The Writer or Writing Judge to help you with this process.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help.
When it comes to men and mental health, it is essential to remember that we are humans and not superhuman. Everyone, at some point in their life, gets tired or overwhelmed by events, detrimental experiences, or traumas. For most men, they shy away from asking for help when they are mentally drained, they do not want to come across as needy or weak. But you need to remember that your mental wellbeing is most important. When things become too much, and you feel you can’t cope, it is okay to ask for help from your family, friends, or a professional.
Young men should be made to view seeking help as a sign of strength rather than a sign of weakness. There are survival stories out there that we can also share to help them find strength and courage to rise above mental depression. They mustn’t be left thinking the domestic abuse or domestic violence is only happening to them, and no other man has suffered in the same way.
Also, they must be reminded that treatment is effective. Men who get appropriate care can recover from mental illness, traumas, addiction, etc. and lead full, rewarding lives.
Given that mental health challenges faced by most men in adulthood can often be traced to their origins in adolescence and childhood, the rationale for avoiding and intervention strategies for young men is compelling. We need to make continuous collective efforts in building resilience and providing support to help curb mental disorders in men right from a young age.