By Nichole A. Cavallaro
I recently read an article in Men’s Health Magazine by Robert Hicks and Edward Cooper. It was pretty interesting because it got right to the point of men’s mental health and the wellness surrounding it. And guess what, fellas – mental health and wellness is not just a woman thing! The article listed some very important stats that I’m going to elaborate on just a tad.
“Men have a much more negative view on therapy than women.” From a professional standpoint, men have outright told me, “I don’t need this, it’s for people who are weak or crazy.” Sorry guy, it’s actually the most efficient, smartest and bravest thing you can ever do for yourself should you want any help in this capacity. What’s the worst that can happen to you if you did seek therapy? Spoiler alert: You’ll be helped and heard.
“When men do use therapy, it is at the point of crisis.” I’m going to have to be on the fence with this one because women do this as well. I can understand why. It’s normal to reach your breaking point and seek assistance. You’re human, you’re supposed to react that way. It’s a common belief that therapy should only intervene at times of crisis and negativity. Not true. In fact, it’s great to have someone check in with you to have that extra layer of support. Of course, therapy should never be forced on to someone because it’s a sacred time where the experience is personal and private. It’s a time that is all about you. Who doesn’t want that? You’re the best expert on yourself so if you want a person to vent to once or twice a month without judging you, therapy is like the best relationship ever! Therapy is also used for educational purposes in that someone living with depression, an addiction or anxiety, can get the proper guidance on how to live their lives. So crisis or not, men are welcome. All are welcome.
“Men between the ages of 18 and 44 are less likely to go see a doctor than women.” I mean… I know I’m not alone in this when my spouse refuses to see his doctor when I think he should go. I’m just mindful of my health and thinks he should be too! All you guys need to be! Of course, if it’s a papercut, don’t get carried away. But routine checkups, tests and simply taking care of yourself is vital to your life as well as others in it. And no, WebMD and Google do not count. Neither does YouTube or your buddy. Unless said buddy is a physician.
“67 percent of men feel their mental health is secondary to that of a partner.” I mean… that’s nice and all, but it’d be great for us all to be on the same mental health page, don’t you agree? Men matter, too!
Although these statistics do not apply to all men, they’re fairly close to the reason why more light is shed on men’s mental health and why it’s equally important for them to be mindful of what they need and want regarding it. If therapy isn’t your cup of joe, then there are other things that can elicit healing and catharsis too. Playing or listening to music, cooking (yes, I know many men who can cook), creating art, indulging in healthy hobbies, reading, working out, talking to supportive friends and family, spending time with a pet, are just to name a few. It’s important to gauge yourself and see if you’re having an off day, an off month or something else. Your mental health, if neglected, will affect your physical health, work performance, sexual drive, family life and relationships, self-esteem and more. There are many helpful resources in your area so you truly are not alone. The only thing you have to be responsible for is making a smart decision to ask for guidance! You’ve got far too many good things in yourself and in your life to assume you don’t matter.
Nichole is a mental health provider and writes about mental health and wellness issues on her blog, found at mentalhealthwellnesstherapy.com and self-mom.com.