Men: The Silent Sufferers


Recent research has been showing a dramatic increase in men’s mental health status. They show a rise in depression, anxiety and substance use/abuse related disorders. Men’s mental health has often been ignored due to worldwide societal values that not only devalues the pressure men face but also demands them to be resilient. As a result, men quietly suffer from mental health concerns and have seldom reached out for help. For men having feelings is a sign of weakness, experiencing symptoms of depression or an anxiety attack is source of shame. They feel condemned by society they have for having these struggles, hence they often resort to numbing those emotions and experiences. Substance use/abuse, violence against themselves or others, and other forms of self-harm are just a few of the many methods men resort to cope with their mental health status.

Understanding Men’s Mental Health

What is being ignored in this picture is what are the causes for the deterioration of Men’s Mental Health. According to research, the most common reason tends to be the societal pressure experienced by men to provide, achieve and succeed. When any man is faced with challenges to achieve these goals, he experiences shame. Shame is defined by Brenee Brown, Social Work researcher, as the fear of disconnection, adult men are living with this fear. They are worry and dread that their true self will be uncovered, leading them to try to pretend. They mask the required role of strength, resilience, and power when in fact they feel lonely, isolated and ashamed. In the United States, recent efforts have been taken to encourage men to face their struggles and provide them with the needed support from the society. Young boys are also now encouraged to express themselves without fear of being judged or shamed.

Consequently, it is crucial for men experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety or noticing any dysfunctional behavior to try some of the following remedies:

  1. Reach out for help of professional psychologists to explore possible reasons for the difficulties.
  2. Connect with family, friends and loved ones to express to them their feelings.
  3. Join a support group dedicated to assisting with those struggles.

Finally, it is important to remember that feelings of shame derive their power from secrecy, hence finding a medium to open up about those feelings and circumstances leading up to them can be the best way to let them go.


reem shaheen counseling psychologist


Reem Shaheen – LMHC