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Men don't cry: Prioritizing men's mental health


Masculinity, bravado and everything it encompasses, society seems to be progressing in how it views certain things even more so in regards to the human experience however there still seems to be some stigma around men and mental health, especially black men. As i said any sorts of stigma attached to this are steadily waning but there's still a way to go. I myself have  experienced what it's like to feel things crashing down and not want to speak about it because as a man not being calm and collected, or not appearing together just isn’t the manly thing to do. I often hear those of my native tongue say in our language "men don't cry" now admittedly I don’t cry even when upset I tend to prefer sleeping but these kind of silent labels do need to be addressed.

So, here are a few points:

It doesn’t make you weak expressing emotion.
It does not make you weak expressing emotions but human. It’s rather destructive to assume that the showcase of emotion is a feminine thing. I beg to differ, it's actually a human thing but we kind of need to educate ourselves on this. Men may be less inclined to showcase elaborate spurts of emotion but if you feel you need to release a bit of pent up stress or you feel frustrated don’t hesitate to showcase that. It is ridiculous keeping it in all in the name of manhood. One thing we must realize is suicide among men is steadily rising and this is largely to do with keeping things to ourselves and not releasing the pent up stress, you're a man not a beast, having a shoulder to lean on doesn’t take away from you in any way.

Not speaking out:
Men, black men specifically I know we often feel against the world and are forced to muster up a tough exterior but keeping your struggles to yourself isn’t going to help, if you are fortunate enough to be around loving friends or family speak out, tell someone where you're struggling it doesn't pay to go by the famous philosophy that 'men don't cry' because more men are committing suicide, don't be like that! Don’t be part of the statistic speak out.


Stop dismissing everything.
I personally need to work on this, from saying things like "it’s really not that deep" to generally being stoic when called out on a potentially toxic behaviour trait I can at times adopt a very "who cares" kind of vibe, or my personal fave is to answer everything with a brazenly logical reply. These things I’ve mentioned most men can relate to it. But this isnt always helpful. Being dismissive towards people especially towards yourself and your own emotions all in the name of "it not making sense is unhelpful to yours and others mental health around you. Practice saying things like, "hmm, maybe that is an issue," or maybe I do need to work on that, " or maybe I was kinda hurt by that," because internalizing and trying to ignore doesn’t get rid of the problem but exacerbates it, in the long run your mental health  could be worse and your relationships also. Sometimes facing things head on is the way to go rather than ignoring or trivializing more ambiguous issues.

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9 Apr 2021

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