5 reasons why men won’t talk about their mental health

Men's mental health has always been crucial to human happiness. The path towards good mental health lies in recognising that men too face challenges and vulnerabilities. Addressing these issues can lead to happier, healthier lives and contribute to a more compassionate society.

Although conversations around mental health have gradually gained momentum in our global society, it is women who have mostly been at the forefront of it. What is still concerning is how, more often than not, men remain secretive about their emotional wellbeing. Studies and research have shown that men are not only less likely to discuss their mental health concerns but also more prone to tragic outcomes, such as suicide. The statistics are staggering, as suicide rates among men outweigh those among women.

A study titled “Men’s Mental Health Help-Seeking Behavior: The Influence of Stigma and Masculinity,” published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology, underscores how societal expectations and the stigma surrounding men’s mental health contribute to this issue.

International Men’s Day, observed on November 19th globally, aims to celebrate men’s contributions to society and address issues affecting their wellbeing. It serves as a platform to encourage an understanding of men’s mental health challenges. On this  special day, join us as we shed light on why men don’t talk about their mental health and the stigma surrounding it.

Masculinity and emotional expression

How often have we heard that men don’t cry? It’s a simple and very dismissive way of looking at the crisis that men go through in their journey to express themselves fully. Traditional notions of masculinity often discourage men from showing vulnerability or expressing their emotions. The societal expectation that men should be self-reliant or strong at all times can make it difficult for them to admit they’re struggling with mental health issues.

As a result, they may avoid seeking help to avoid being perceived as weak or unmanly.

Fear of being judged

Ever told someone about your weak moments and then been ridiculed for it in an argument later? All of us go through it as some point or other but for men, it tends to be more scarring. Men often fear that opening up about their mental health will lead to judgement or negative perceptions from others. They worry that friends, family or colleagues may view them differently, potentially impacting their relationships and professional lives permanently.

This fear of judgement can be a significant barrier to seeking help.

Cultural and social factors

Cultural and social factors play a crucial role in men’s reluctance to discuss their mental health. Some societies have deeply ingrained beliefs about gender roles and emotional expression, making it even more challenging for men to break free from these expectations.

So, social norms that glorify toughness and emotional resilience can create additional pressure on boys and men.

Lack of awareness about available support

Some men may be ready to get help or therapy regarding their mental health. But they may not be aware of the mental health resources and support networks available to them. This lack of awareness can result in them not knowing where to turn for help in need. In other cases, they might underestimate the value of seeking professional assistance while also not confiding in their near and dear ones, resulting in worsening of their mental health.

Fear of losing control

Men often value their sense of control and independence. Opening up about mental health struggles might feel like giving up control, which can be intimidating to them. They may worry that seeking help will lead to unwanted interventions or restrictions in their lives.

In a society that increasingly recognises the importance of mental health discussions, it’s crucial to address the reasons why men remain silent about their struggles. By breaking down these barriers and promoting a more inclusive dialogue around men’s mental health, we can encourage men to seek the help they need, ultimately saving and improving lives.


Why is it important to focus on men's mental health?

Men’s mental health is crucial because they face unique societal pressures and expectations that often make it difficult for them to express their emotions or seek help.

How can men break free from traditional notions of masculinity that discourage emotional expression?

Men can challenge traditional masculinity by educating themselves about the power of expressing emotions and learning that seeking help are signs of strength, not weakness.

What resources are available for men struggling with their mental health?

Men can access a range of resources, including therapy, support groups, crisis helplines and online communities to work on their mental health. It’s essential to seek professional help when needed and build a support network of friends and family.

How can I encourage a man in my life to open up about his mental health?

Start by creating a non-judgmental and empathetic space for them to talk. Listen actively and express your support. Slowly, recommend tools like therapy if needed.

What are some signs that a man is struggling with his mental health?

Signs may include changes in behaviour, withdrawal from social activities, increased irritability, fatigue and expressions of hopelessness.




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