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The Challenging Stigmas of Males Mental Health

Adolescent males dealing with mental health disorders often have a hard time opening up about their struggles and asking for the help they need due to the societal stigma of males. This negative mindset continues to stray individuals away from receiving the help they need for fear of looking different from their peers in society. Understanding this stigma and working to support everyone to get the help they need can help our society become a more accepting space for everyone to feel comfortable.

Social Stigma

The negative social stigma regarding males and mental health has caused many individuals to feel isolated. This stigma refers to the negative perception of individuals with mental health disorders and false accusations of where these disorders arise. In men, this can be perceived as weak and shameful. The social assumption for men is that they are expected to be dominant, strong, and brave figures. Having a mental health disorder can be portrayed as a sign of weakness.

This social stigma is extremely dangerous for the minds of adolescent males. While mental health awareness is becoming more common, it is not often discussed or accepted in the adolescent age group. Men and women both deal with mental health disorders, and both need support to overcome them. If adolescents your age open up about having a mental health problem, work to support them and provide a safe space for them. Showing your emotions and being vulnerable does not make you weak.

Overcoming the Stigma

It can be intimidating to admit you are struggling with a mental health disorder as an adolescent. It is understandable to be full of fear; however, the rewards from your honesty may be worth jumping over this fear. There are many ways you can open up about your mental health disorders without receiving much backlash. It is crucial to remember the importance of your mental health and avoid allowing negative comments to get into your head.

Online Effects

Many adolescents spend a great deal of time on social media and feel greatly influenced by the posts and comments of their peers. While there may be a variety of negativity online in regards to mental health disorders, there are also a variety of pages and resources that work to spread awareness on these issues. Joining these online forums and opening up about your struggles in a supportive environment online can help you to feel more comfortable on the matter and encourage you to open up to other support systems. 

Focus on Yourself

During this time, it is important to get the help you need. You may receive some negative feedback about receiving treatment or struggling with mental health, but remind yourself that many people go through this. If individuals are giving you a hard time, reach out to your support system. Try to only engage with individuals that encourage your recovery and want the best for you. It can be hard to ignore negative comments, especially during this strong emotional phase, but giving in to these comments only gives the other individual more power. 

Having confidence in your decision and being honest about your mental health state can help other peers understand where you are coming from. Many individuals fear speaking up on the matter due to possible bullying or backlash; however, sticking up for mental health awareness can help increase the level of acceptance of your peers.

Understand the Commonality

Mental health disorders are present in one in four individuals on average. Being aware of this statistic can help you not feel alone with your disorder. There are likely many other individuals in your surrounding peer groups that also struggle with mental health and have these same fears of negative stigmas. 

Through open and honest communication, you may discover friends that are struggling with similar issues. Increasing the population that is willing to open up about their mental health disorders can help people to accept these feelings and decrease the negative thoughts put into place.

Spread Awareness

After allowing yourself to open up about your emotional state and finding other peers who either are struggling with similar issues or are supportive of these matters, you may develop a community of support. Look into starting a club or meetings to help spread awareness. By working together with a group of people, the awareness can become more accepted within your school and social group. There is power in numbers. Spreading this knowledge and acquiring supportive allies can help yourself and others feel supported when in treatment.

Admitting you struggle with a mental health disorder and seeking treatment can be intimidating due to the negative stigma on mental health. There are a variety of societal standards for men that hinder males from opening up about their emotional state. At Clearfork Academy, we understand that addressing these social stigmas and spreading awareness can help others feel safe to open up. Seeking professional treatment will help you develop healthy ways to cope and improve communication with your family and peers. As challenging as it may be, it is extremely important to focus on yourself and your needs during this time. Getting the help you need is more important than impressing your peers. There are many ways you can use this time to influence others and be a support to your peers. To learn more about the challenges of stigmas in mental health, contact us today at (817) 259-2597.

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