40 pc of Indian men don’t talk about their mental health openly: Experts

International Men’s Health Week is celebrated every year from June 10 to 16 to raise awareness about men’s health issues.

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While society has begun to openly discuss issues such as anxiety, depression, and stress, men’s mental health remains an overlooked area. About 40 percent of men in India do not talk openly about their mental health for fear of stigma, experts said Thursday.

International Men’s Health Week is celebrated every year from June 10 to 16 to raise awareness about men’s health issues.

“The lack of discussions about men’s mental health or their propensity to seek help, along with rising suicide rates, can be explained by socially constructed masculine gender norms,” ​​said Dr. Samir Kumar Praharaj, professor and head of the Kasturba Department of Psychiatry. College of Medicine and Hospitals, MAHE, Manipal.

“Around 40 per cent of Indian men do not talk openly about their mental health, largely due to stigmas and misconceptions, including the mistaken belief that men should manage their emotions on their own,” Dr Shyam added. Bhat, psychiatrist and president. by LiveLoveLaugh.

Historically, social expectations have dictated that men embody strength, resilience, and emotional stoicism. Biological and hormonal influences such as testosterone also contribute to different emotional responses in men.

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Dr Samir said that in most cases, men are an example of masking emotions as it is considered shameful for them to express their feelings or seek help.

“When depressed, men are more likely to show aggression and anger rather than sadness, compared to women, who may be more in touch with their sadness and vulnerability,” Dr. Shyam said.

“Consequently, many men suffer in silence or isolate themselves and turn to substance abuse, as they battle their internal struggles without the support they desperately need. This increases the risk of suicide in men and, consequently, death by suicide in men occurs 2.5 times more than in women,” she added.

Doctors called for awareness campaigns and educational programs to help eliminate myths and stigmatization associated with mental disorders, as well as encourage conversation.

Dr. Samir highlighted healthy habits like exercising, engaging in mindful activities, and engaging in creative outlets to improve yourself. mental health.

“The emphasis should be on disrupting the perception of male masculinity and persuading men to take their mental health problems seriously and seek help if they experience any difficulties,” the health expert said.

Also read: Seeking non-discriminatory healthcare for LGBTQ+ patients

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