• Thanushree Anil

How long would it take for the society to accept that mental health of men is not a joke ?

It's all the same, starts right from childhood, and continues to adulthood. The stigma of mental health in men is nothing new.

A man, the definition of toughness, fearlessness, and many more traits that are considered to be macho. In a society where we have started acknowledging LGBTQ, patriarchy and so many prejudices that humans have been facing, why is the mental health of men especially ignored?

Women have come forth, they are given platforms, the recent black and white challenge was to empower and acknowledge what was happening to women in Turkey, some women chose it as a challenge to throw support for the women who supported her, the women who have been with her.

When did the tears flowing from the tear ducts of men which is completely normal on a physical body and completely senseless for the society?


Men who cry are cowards.

Men who cry aren’t men.

Men who cry are weak.

It’s not even about crying, a softness, liking the color pink, liking things which are defined girly by society. Indulging with something that is outside of the stereotypes set by the society is considered to be not manly.

Men are people, they are humans, if they want to cry as a baby let them!

If they cry at the tragic ending of a movie, let them!


Every human does function and are wired differently but we still do have the same chemicals and glands in our brain, so why is it that it isn’t still normal to talk about men showing a side of softness.

Imagine living in a box for your entire life and if you show one emotion and you fall out of the box, the society has fed you stories with the devil and all evil, but what if you fall and you reach another dimension of acceptance, a parallel world where its okay to show some emotions and nobody is there to judge you.

Generations and generations of talking, fighting, protesting, and what not, almost all the women are living a better life than their ancestors. Women are thriving, loving, and supporting each other.

What about the generation and generations of fathers teaching their sons,’Men/boys do not cry’.

‘Boys do not cry’, who generated this idea in the human mind? Nobody knows. Not even google.

The one who instigated is well below 6ft and doesn’t even have a jaw to smirk at the people who endorsed this toxicity and carried it on for years.

The world is changing, apart from climate change and the pandemic threatening to end humanity, our society is getting instilled on ideas and concepts that were once considered as a taboo.

How long would it take for society to accept and normalize the mental health of men is not a joke.

The world collectively realized that its high time that men’s mental health issues be considered a serious issue when Hollywood celebrities like Will Smith and Kanye West had their breakdowns and memes were made on them.

Their tears and mental health were made into a joke because ofcourse the macho man never gets any feelings or emotions. They should be strong as a stone with cold hard eyes not batting an eye to mental health because hey! macho men don’t face any mental health issues. Macho men are all sorted out.


The society includes you, if you take a step to come out of the box, to fall out of the box there are a hundred million helping hands to guide you through anything. We may be alone in the universe until we find proof but we aren’t alone on the planet.

The air, the water, the land are all in touch with us and we transact with the universe through every single second. Not for one second, you are alone.

In a report by the world health organization (WHO) around 450 million people suffer from mental illness and only two-third of them seek help. It affects one in four people.

How should we put a stop to it?

The environment that we are living in is a replication of what we think and act. A change in you will automatically cause an effect in society. Like a single butterfly’s flap of the wings could cause a tornado somewhere else. In a way, everything is linked.

Toxic comments like

‘Men don’t cry’

‘You should be strong because you are a man’

‘Men should have beards’

‘You don’t know how to drive?’

‘Why are you wearing pink, you are a man’

‘Why don’t you drink, you are a man’

‘Why are you skinny, a man should have muscles’

So much more, that it would take pages to fill in the toxicity.

WHO’s data show that nearly 40% of countries have more than 15 suicide deaths per 100,000 men; only 1.5% show a rate that high for women.

In a report by the world health organization (WHO) around 450 million people suffer from mental illness and only two-third of them seek help. It affects one in four people.

In 2018, three times as many men as women died by suicide, the mental illness among men is a silent pandemic

In a 2016 National Canadian National Survey, the views by people were,

“I would not vote for a male politician if knew he had been depressed”

“Men with depression are dangerous”

“Men with depression could snap out of it if they wanted”

Among the respondents, most of them felt embarrassed seeking professional help for mental health. Acknowledging the fact that mental illness does not impede a person’s capabilities or their talents should be a vital point while trying to understand mental illness.


Men tend to seek professionals for a cure to physical symptoms and not mental symptoms.

Introducing mental health as a part of the education system can utterly help normalize that sometimes our thoughts get the better of us. The complete cluelessness of not understanding what you are going through or wondering what just happened to you when a panic attack occurs can

be forestalled by knowing and understanding your emotions.

When you take the mind off of things by distracting yourself by hanging out with your friends or indulging in other activities, it just provides a temporary action to what you are feeling and going through. Those emotions are being kept in a drawer, the minute you don’t find the key (distraction), it would open up and spew all its contents out making it so difficult to close and you wouldn’t even know what is happening to you.

This applies to anyone who has a brain.

Seeking help

National Institute of Mental Health launched the Real Men. Real Depression. campaign to give insights on the battle that men suffer from 2003 to 2005. Documentary filmmaker Leslie Wiener filmed captured men of different professions speaking candidly about their experiences with depression.

During the campaign’s three-year run, NIMH distributed nearly one million copies of these resources and over 150,000 copies were downloaded from the website. In addition, the campaign’s outreach effort generated 14 million hits to the web site and nearly 5,000 emails and phone calls to the information hotlines. By sharing their personal stories of depression, treatment, and recovery, these men helped NIMH increase public awareness and made a powerful contribution to help other men recognize depression.

Men of middle age are considered to be grown up and deemed to take care of themselves. They are independent they don’t need help and thus the consequence of those thoughts is a huge number of suicide rates and nothing else.


The treatment method of men and women may vary, as a psychiatrist from USA, Jeffrey Sung mentions that he has had patients who have suicided under his care and this led to him thinking more about what possible treatment methods should be incorporated so that men can be helped too.

A society where platforms are created for men to openly seek help without being shunned or embarrassed, messages reverberating throughout the people that it’s completely normal to seek help.

A lot of questions need to answer as of how should create a community wherein men can see other men seeking help and considering the fact that they are not in complete peril and can revive from the situation they are in.

Men tend to follow the tails of being an alcohol addict or anything that can subdue their emotional pain but it should be a widespread fact that alcoholism is a risk factor for suicide.

When celebrities of millions of followers acknowledge that mental illness is a serious issue and is not something to be ashamed of, it helps instigate a culture and an opportunity to break the old senseless one.

Dwayne Johnson

"I found that, with depression, one of the most important things you could realize is that you're not alone," he said in a YouTube video "You're not the first to go through it; you're not going to be the last to go through it. And oftentimes—it happens—you just feel like you're alone. You feel like it's only you. You're in your bubble. And I wish I had someone at that time who could just pull me aside and [say], 'Hey, it's gonna be OK. It'll be OK.' So, I wish I knew that."

Zayn Malik

"Even when you know you want to do something, know that it will be good for you, that you’ll enjoy it when you’re doing it, the anxiety is telling you a different story. It’s a constant battle within yourself."

Prince Harry

"I've spent most of my life saying 'I'm fine,'" Prince Harry said in an interview with The Telegraph journalist Bryony Gordon on her mental health podcast. "I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12 and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but also my work as well...I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions."

Shawn Mendes

first opened up about his anxiety when he explained it was the inspiration behind his Grammy-nominated single "In My Blood."
“Just doing that helped me the most,” he adds. “I still struggle with it but just remember every day that everyone deals with some level of anxiety or pressure; we’re all in it together.”

Michael Phelps

Phelps, the most decorated Olympian in history, has also experienced depression and suicidal feelings.
"After years, and years, and years of just shoving every negative, bad feeling down to the point where I mean, I just didn't even feel it anymore," he told Today last year. "It was a long, long, long road and I just never wanted to deal with it. And for me, that sent me down a spiral staircase real quick and as I said, I found myself in a spot where I didn't want to be alive anymore."

Chemical imbalance

Mental illness doesn’t necessarily have to be thoughts that are a consequence of what you face in the community, it could be also because of chemical imbalance.

A chemical imbalance occurs when there is too much or too little of a particular chemical that is called the neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are the natural chemicals that help in facilitating communication between the nerve and the cells.