Following the publishing of a recent report, new figures have suggested males are less likely to seek support for mental health issues than their female peers.
The Mental Health Foundation funded a survey which analysed the responses from over 2,500 people who had been affected by mental health issues.
From this data, the organisation found 28% of men had not attempted to seek medical support for their mental health problems.
To put this into perspective, just 19% of females from the same survey did not attempt to get help from a specialist – a 47% increase between the two genders.
Unfortunately, this news may not seem surprising to many.
Historically, men have always been pressured by society to exude “masculinity” and many can feel insecure if they do not live up to the antiquated expectations of others.
Furthermore, the media is known to have indoctrinated many female members of the population with supposed ideas of body perfection, but this same type of brainwashing also affects men too.
The disclosure of emotions and personal struggles can be seen by many to be a display of weakness (although this is certainly not the case) and, as these figures suggest, men are more likely to be affected by these social ‘taboos’.
The study also found that a third of women had opened up to their friends and family about their mental health issues within a month of becoming aware them. Conversely, only a quarter of men who responded to the survey divulged to having this same type of conversation.
As stated earlier, this news may not come as shocking to all reading this article however, when we acknowledge that the leading cause of death amongst young men in the UK is suicide, the magnitude of these findings suddenly starts to hit home.
A prime example of this issue is 27 year old comedian Dave Chawner, a man who lived with depression and anxiety for a total of 10 years before ever seeking help for his mental health issues.
Chawner supported the survey by stating: “It is more accepted for men to deal with stress, emotions and situations with anger. Anything else is interpreted as vulnerability and shut down.”
These findings surrounding men’s reluctance to disclose mental health issues are the result of engrained ideals of masculinity, coupled with increasing pressure from society in the present day.
To help combat this issue and protect modern men from more severe depression (and even suicide), it’s the responsibility of parents, teachers and friends to reinforce the idea that it’s ok to talk about our problems, irrespective of our gender.
If you’re suffering from depression, anxiety or any other type of mental health condition, speak with a close relative or, even better, a specialist to get support you need.
You’re not alone and these issues affect more people than you probably think.
Encompass helps people with mental health issues and learning disabilities to live a higher quality of life each and every day.
Learn more about Encompass and the work we do by clicking here.