There are many studies out there that have found that large percentages of men suffer from mental illness and face addiction but not enough seek treatment. This leads to very serious consequences. To fix this we must end the stigmas that men who are struggling face.
What is a Stigma?
“Stigma is when someone views you in a negative way because you have a distinguishing characteristic or personal trait that’s thought to be, or actually is, a disadvantage (a negative stereotype),” the Mayo Clinic explains. Stigmas are incredibly dangerous and have led to discrimination against men who seek help and stops men who need treatment. They can lead to harmful side effects including:
- Reluctance to seek help for addiction or mental illness
- Health insurance may not adequately cover important treatments that could help someone or save their life.
- Some men may face bullying or harassment for speaking out about their struggles with mental health or addiction.
“There is work for us to do as a society regarding the stigma of asking for help,” Zach Levin of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation explained to Healthline. “While we have done a much better job of reducing stigma and expanding opportunities for support, men still may be experiencing shame and guilt that could lead to them being less willing to ask for help.”
A cause for the stigma may be partially due to the societal belief that men must be strong and macho. They are taught from a young age that they are not allowed to be soft and show emotions because it is seen as a sign of weakness. While strength is incredibly important we must also remember that it is okay to ask for help sometimes.
How to End the Stigma
Ending the stigma completely will take a lot of work people all over. A good place for you to start is to recognize when you need help and understanding that doing so is good. Never forget that God is here for you, even at your darkest moments:
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
Building a support system that will encourage you to take the steps necessary to take care of your mental health is also important. It is also important for you to speak up for yourself and others who are suffering from mental health issues and addiction. Face those who don’t understand with an open heart and educate them on why seeking treatment and ending this dangerous stigma is so important.
God wants you to understand that you are important and deserve to live a happy life, so if you are struggling don’t be afraid to ask for help. He will give you the strength you need to take care of yourself.