Regardless of what we do, how we are perceived, and what our pronouns are, mental health issues impact all of us. A stressful event that might have led to depression, a body dysmorphic thought which must have been an outcome of bullying, a constant state of anxiety when faced with a social situation, don't ask for gender before happening to someone. They just happen.
Here Is A Look At The Statistics
5 out of 10 men suffer from some sort of anxiety or phobia. There is a 1.75 times more likelihood for the youth of the LGBTQ+ community to face depression. To add to this, 41.9 percent of women go through episodes of depression or distress in daily life.
On 3rd December 2021, Gallop published an article and claimed the mental health crisis to be the next global pandemic. Two years later, the concern still remains. The fact that everyone is facing some mental distress points to a very concerning fact- people are not as happy as they seem.
What Is Adding To The Situation?
The Minority Stress Model
Developed in the early 2000s, the minority stress model suggests that people in the minority group experience stress differently than the majority population. This also applies to the LGBTQIA+ community. The three facts that lead to this situation are- i) a social situation causes minority stress, ii) it is unique and may revolve around serious issues such as discrimination and fear of being judged, and iii) it is more chronic because the anti behavior they face is prolonged too..
Men Don’t Cry
Despite the fact that feminism is now a thing and men are more open to expressing their emotions, some traces of past stereotypes have still managed to linger around. The concept of hegemonic masculinity views men as tough, strong, and in full control of their emotions. However, the human body does not work like that. It is impossible for a person to be fully in control of their emotions. Even those who have achieved self-actualisation know how to acknowledge all of their feelings, no matter how weak or strong. In a research conducted by The Indian Express, 40 percent of men confessed that they have reduced reaching out and opening up to their loved ones post-COVID-19. This is an indication of a problematic situation. If emotions are not expressed fully and freely, it might cause a blockage in catharsis, which is often the reason for many mental health issues. As Freud says, unexpressed emotions never die, they are just buried inside and come out later in fallacious ways.
Demand To Be The Nurturer
With women, one of the biggest hurdles is to cross the prejudice of the society which views them as the ‘primary’ nurturer. Often, women face a mental health block because they are always expected to be the caregiver. So, when the roles switch, and they face mental health issues, they find it difficult to convey it to others because they feel they don’t have the “right” to ask for care.
How Do We Bring A Change To The Narrative?
Have the courage to let others be imperfect in front of you and for yourself to be imperfect in front of them too.
The first step to bringing change to a situation is to accept with honesty that there is a necessity for change, and it will take a whole lot of practice to do so.
Till then, start by holding space and listening to yourself and the people around you. Leave prejudices and judgments behind. It will allow you to fully listen and comprehend the problem.