At Thought Catalog, there is an article about the number of ways in which it sucks to be a man in our society. I find Reason #8 interesting as well as Reason #10:
8. We’re invisible to everybody.
“I wish I wasn’t so invisible to everybody. I’m so lonely. I haven’t physically touched another human in so long. I miss touch. I miss comfort.”
10. We’re always the wrong person in every situation involving women or kids, no matter what.
“You’re always wrong. Always. You are the instigator of every conflict, but you’re also expected to rush into every conflict. A guy watching the kids is a creep. A guy walking at night is a threat. You’re always the wrong person in every situation involving women or kids, no matter what.”
I think, though, that one of the most important points from a mental health perspective is #44:
44. We are not allowed to be depressed.
“You’re not allowed to be depressed.”
Add up all these reasons and it’s easy to see why so many men take their lives in our society. Every day I speak to people who tell me they have a male relative, friend, or business partner who is depressed, suicidal or going through a rough time.
From CEOs in business to the man cleaning the bathrooms of the office, many men feel that their lives are worthless. The pressure to conform to doing what they are expected to by society, families and their own high expectations without any thought to their own feelings and passions leads to later anger, bitterness, and depression. This internal anger at the world is turned against the self and leads to using drugs alcohol or even committing suicide.
I truly believe we need more mental health focus on men and boys and a cultural shift that views men with more compassion and understanding of what they are dealing with in today’s high-stress, high-expectation environment. Men simultaneously need to learn that reaching out is not a weakness, but they also need to feel that if they reach out, help is there–with their best interests at heart.