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Removing the Stigma from Men’s Mental Health and Giddy’s Goal to Help
When it comes to examining mental well-being, many men are reluctant to look inward. While there’s been a push in recent years for people to share more about their mental health, there’s still a major stigma attached to men opening up about their emotions.
The instinct for men to hide their stressors can be attributed to learned behavior or fear that they’ll face judgment for expressing angst. We’ve all heard overused phrases like “boys don’t cry” and “man up” but these sayings can have a negative impact on individuals over time.
The reality is that no human gets through life without experiencing anxiety. Voicing internal struggles is sometimes labeled a deficiency though, preventing many people from reaching out to another person. Whether it’s talking with a friend, family member, or licensed professional, men in particular often avoid seeking help because it requires them to be vulnerable. This is a result of antiquated social norms and promotes an unhealthy habit of burying emotions.
The issues stemming from unaddressed mental illness are vast and greatly impact a person’s quality of life. For men, poor mental health can lead to depression, anxiety, a decreased sex drive, and other health issues. These conditions may cause a snowball effect, leading to other problems such as weight gain or loss, erectile dysfunction, or problems sleeping. Depression in men is particularly concerning, as males are four times as likely to commit suicide during an extended depressive episode compared to women.
Mental illness is commonly mislabeled as a personal issue rather than a genuine medical condition that requires professional help in some cases. The belief that mental health comes down solely to a person’s resilience isn’t accurate. Chemical imbalances within the body can regularly contribute to symptoms of mental illness. Depression is frequently mischaracterized as a weakness too, placing an external stigma on sharing this struggle with anyone else.
Given the stressors we encounter in daily life, it’s inevitable to feel like you need someone to talk to. Fortunately, conversations around mental health are becoming more common, and more people are seeking out the help that they need. Externalizing internal dilemmas with a professional counselor or therapist can help decrease anxiety surrounding these issues.
One of the major benefits of counseling is that it allows for outside feedback from an unbiased source. A counselor or therapist provides an extra perspective that can improve a patient’s outlook or help them navigate the next steps in minimizing stressors. In addition, attending counseling sessions on a regular basis gives counselors the chance to identify changes in a patient’s behavior. A patient may not even notice their small behavior changes. A licensed professional can advise their clients on whether or not new thought patterns are opening them up to a more positive lifestyle.
Telehealth counseling is another avenue for seeking professional help. Attending a virtual appointment instead of an in-person session removes a potential barrier for those who prefer talking to a counselor from the comfort of their own home. The shorter time-commitment of Telehealth sessions may also appeal to some people, as it doesn’t require them to drive to and from their therapist’s office. Many insurance companies process Telehealth appointments the same as an in-person visit. It’s important to verify this ahead of time, though, if there are exceptions with your healthcare plan. Some Telehealth services are also available to book without insurance, making it easy to schedule an appointment.
Each person’s journey to improved mental health is different. A licensed professional can help you address your internal anxieties and concerns in a healthy and safe environment.
In some cases, medication may be an appropriate option for people dealing with debilitating anxiety or depression. While a stigma also exists for treating mental illness with prescription drugs, this shouldn’t deter you from considering it as a potential treatment option. The right medication can help manage certain symptoms stemming from anxiety or depression.
For some individuals, anti-anxiety medications are only taken on an as-needed basis. Some people only need medication for a certain amount of time and find that they can manage their stress without a prescription over time. Side effects can occur from taking these medications, so it’s necessary to talk with your doctor before starting any treatment involving a prescription drug.
If a person needs immediate assistance with their mental health, resources such as the National Suicide Prevention Hotline are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States. Calls are confidential and toll-free and there are also options for teletypewriter users to get in touch. The organization also offers a live online chat function for users who prefer texting. Another helpful org is SAMHSA, which provides callers with nearby resources such as community-based organizations and support groups. Both the National Suicide Prevention Hotline and SAMSHA provide telephone support in English and Spanish.
It’s essential for there to always be an open dialogue about mental health.
One platform working to destigmatize the conversation surrounding mental illness is Giddy. Giddy brands itself as “the world’s largest sexual health platform”, offering its readers a wide selection of informative articles and content. The website covers health topics that are often overlooked due to their intimate nature. With an open-minded approach, the company’s aim is to enlighten audiences about important health matters including mental wellness.
Giddy provides helpful information that allows men and women to make more informed decisions for their mental and overall well-being. Men’s health issues such as depression, erectile dysfunction, and prostate health are covered at length with expert-reviewed insights.
Additionally, the company explores culture and lifestyle topics that relate to personal health. Whether it’s how the workplace impacts your well-being or social media’s effect on personal relationships, Giddy explores a wide range of subjects. The site recently launched its BARE video series which features popular media personalities chatting about their personal health and relationship experiences. The guests of the series also touch on topics relating to mental health, addressing how they live with depression and discussing life events that heightened anxiety for them.
Working toward better mental well-being doesn’t need to be a journey you take on your own. Luckily, there are many resources available to help you get started. To decide the next best steps in supporting your mental health, reach out to your primary care provider.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes