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How Toxic Masculinity Is Killing Men - Teaching Men's Lifestyle

 How toxic masculinity is killing men 

How toxic masculinity is killing men, For a long time, men were "forced" to demonstrate physical and mental strength - and, let it be clear, through a misrepresented concept of strength: a strong man is one who does not cry, does not say he loves, ..., Health Problems,Men's Fitness & Health,Personal Care,Popular,Violence,Development,Toxic Masculinity,Depression,Mental Health,Suicide,Tips, How Toxic Masculinity Is Killing Men - Teaching Men's Lifestyle

For a long time, men were "forced" to demonstrate physical and mental strength - and, let it be clear, through a misrepresented strength concept: a strong man is one who does not cry, does not say  who loves, does not show affection, does not show affection and does not transmit any characteristic normally stereotyped as feminine   

The result?  Accept it or not: physical violence, psychological and verbal violence.  By keeping feelings and having to demonstrate his strength all the time, man ends up getting involved in situations that do not harm only other people;  mainly harm themselves.  

We have spoken here before, but, in summary: men die more in traffic accidents and get involved in more fights on the wheel than women.  Men face more bar fights, men die more from depression, taking their own lives, than women.  

Because?  Because they can't talk about their feelings, they can't, most of the time, say what they feel because that is a sign of weakness.  


How toxic masculinity is killing men, HOW TOXIC MALE IS KILLING MEN

Efforts have been made to challenge traditional stereotypes, but there is still pressure on men to be strong, independent, stoic, competitive and tough.  According to research published by the American Psychological Association, these "male traits" have been linked to mental health problems, such as depression and substance abuse.  

Joel Wong, who led the research team at Indiana University in Bloomington, said: “In general, individuals who conform strongly to male norms tend to have poorer mental health and less favorable attitudes towards psychological help, although  the results are different depending on specific types of male norms. ”  

The research gathered results from more than 70 studies in the USA involving more than 19,000 men in 11 years.  It focused on the relationship between mental health and compliance with male standards.  They included the desire to win, the need for emotional control and risk taking.  

The traits most closely linked to mental health problems were playboy behavior or sexual promiscuity, Wong said.  


How toxic masculinity is killing men, TESTIMONIES FROM MEN ON THE SUBJECT

In the gringa, several articles on the subject have been linked for a while.  In one of them, published by The Guardian, some men gave their testimonies on the subject, and talked about their own mental health experiences and what they thought of this analysis.  

Daniel Briggs, 44, explains: "The pressure to be manly prevented me from getting help earlier."  

He describes depression as the constant sensation of living in a fog: “It is as if that fog is constantly approaching me.  When that happens, I can't see what's in front of me.  Everything consumes me and nothing else matters.  I can see the fog rising, but I am powerless to stop it. ”  

In his testimony, he raises an alarming discussion: “I experienced depression for about a decade before I accepted what was happening.  As a man, it is definitely much more difficult to talk about your emotions.  It was my wife who made me go to the doctor.  I was behaving erratically: talking about killing myself, disappearing for hours and making her sick with worry.  I ended up being diagnosed with clinical depression.  The pressure to defend the traditional idea of ​​masculinity prevented me from seeking help earlier.  I come from the northern United States and used to work in a shipyard.  Among those I worked with, there was an old-fashioned view of being a person - we do not mention our feelings.  If you get upset about anything other than football, you are considered a ‘weakling’.  When people say, 'How are you?', If you say 'A little bad', the classic answer would be: 'Well, it could be worse.' ”

How toxic masculinity is killing men, TESTIMONIES FROM MEN ON THE SUBJECT

He goes on to explain how no one seemed to see beyond his outside, always limiting problems  psychological to gender stereotypes: “It was the same with the older members of my family, who said: 'Just move on'.  Do not complain or talk about what is happening to you.  It took me a long time to open up.  Even going to a counselor was difficult;  talking about feelings was something that women did. ” 

“But speaking was exactly what I needed to do, and now I am studying to be a psychologist.  I lost a lot of friends, especially men, when I opened up about my depression.  There is a huge stigma around that.  I met men who today thank me because talking to me made them realize that they are not alone.  Men got to accept that talking is sweet which is the toughest part is emotionally.  Walking around with a smile on my face, telling jokes - that's the easy part.  But talking about life and your feelings, instead of how your football team played or how many cans of beer you drank on Saturday night, is much more difficult ”

Chama Kay, 25, lives in London and tells how toxic masculinity  it affected his life: "My parents are African, and in their culture, they wanted me to understand that we don't talk about what feelings."  

He says: “I suffered from poor mental health since I was 16;  I remember this vividly because I started to hurt myself.  It was also at that time that people started saying to me, 'You need to talk to someone'.  It took three years, two failed relationships and a failed suicide attempt for me to finally take that advice. ”  

He continues: “Looking back now, at 25, I realize why, like many men, I found it so difficult to access mental health care.  Male ideals of self-confidence, stoicism, sexual promiscuity and dominance over women are not suitable for emotional vulnerability.  But it is important to realize that this is not a mindset that suddenly appears.  On the contrary, it is instilled in men from an early age.  I personally lost count of the times when I heard parents of little boys admonish their own children or others for being 'too sensitive' or 'soft'.  Therefore, recognizing and addressing how we educate boys is vital here. ”  

His views on the subject can help, and do a lot, to change our perspective on male behavior: “We must not discard the role that culture plays in the way men see and approach mental health.  When I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, there was a clear message that my parents wanted me to understand: you can't talk about it.  For years, I was discouraged from getting help and really felt guilty when I did.  For many black communities, there are taboos around mental health, no doubt.  But more than that, there is an awareness within these communities that structural racism means that black boys, like black girls, are already at a social disadvantage. ”  

Chama draws up an interesting vision that correlates these issues: “Higher unemployment rates, longer prison sentences, lack of representation in the media, politics and business and several other statistics attest to what I said earlier.  The fear that poor mental health is simply another stigma for black men to struggle with, along with many pre-existing taboos, makes it a very difficult battle for many. ”  

However, he concludes: “With all this in mind, I often wonder what can be done to help.  I don't believe that any man wants to feel emotionally isolated and lonely, and I know that they don't want to be taking their own lives at the rate they are.  When looking at the most sacred commandment of alpha masculinity, I believe it is possible to start allowing many men to address what they really value, ask if they are living up to their own standards and hopefully will begin to form a healthier relationship with their mental health.  . ”  


How toxic masculinity is killing men, HOW MEN THINK THAT THEY CAN COMBAT TOXIC MALE

Robert Smith, 50, lives in Brighton and points out: "It's not about gender or male traits - it's about how much empathy you have."  

Robert was the oldest man to be interviewed by The Guardian, and he outlines an important theory on the topic: “Over the years, I have had bouts of depression and anxiety.  I had sleep problems and suicidal thoughts.  With years of psychotherapy, I now know that all of these are symptoms of complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  This is like PTSD, but instead of being caused by a single traumatic event with flashbacks, it is caused by chronic or long-term exposure to emotional trauma. ”  

He continues: “My mental health has been supported almost exclusively by strong friendships and professional relationships with women and their empathy towards me.  If I were sexist, I don't see how these important relationships would have developed.  So I imagine that there is a correlation with sexism and poor mental health, but I doubt that 'masculinity' is the cause of poor mental health, and that classic masculinity, which involves objectifying others, is not empathic and perhaps indicates  other questions.  I imagine that there is a similar correlation with racists and poor mental health.  So I would consider the key factor as one that is not exclusive to men, but affects all people who have no empathy and isolate themselves as a result. ”  

He elaborates on the issue and goes a little further: “In the past, I might have found it more difficult to talk to people about mental health, but not today.  I used to find it more difficult, because to speak, you need a support network, but with serious mental health problems, you can scare people and not have support.  Now I have this and I have different people to talk to.  But to have empathic friends, it helps to be empathic too, so that you can share problems. ”  

Tom Ogier, 31, lives in London and says: "Only recently have I been comfortable talking about vulnerability."  

He admits: “It can be very difficult to admit vulnerability.  Perhaps being a reasonably large guy, it's easy to appear manly, to play that role, but the 'masculinity' traits leave so little room for other important elements of our humanity.  Traits that society could portray as more 'feminine', such as compassion, understanding and care, are essential and sources of great strength.  Men feel that they cannot open up, even to themselves, for fear of being seen as weak or unattractive. ”  

What was learned in childhood has a strong influence on adult life: “From childhood, we are told to be courageous and ambitious, overcoming obstacles in sports fields, battlefields, meeting rooms.  But we don't see many of the mental challenges we face in this way.  They are seen as weaknesses that shouldn't be there, rather than parts of everyone's life.  We will all face problems, losses and dramas in relationships, and these challenges take their toll, so it would be good to try to talk about it.  It would be good for all of us. ”  

He continues: “There is a line by Leonard Cohen that I often think of, when he went on stage and was unable to act for some reason.  He said he did not feel strong enough because ‘somehow the male and female parts refused to meet’.  I like the idea of ​​recognizing that they both need to combine into an individual for a person to work.  The same is true of society.  By balancing the notions of strength that tend to be thought of in a binary way, whether female or male, people can be much healthier.  A world without sexism would be better for everyone.  Not only would women be respected, but men might be better able to appreciate the more feminine traits and strengths, in others and in themselves. ”  


How toxic masculinity is killing men, SO WHAT CAN WE FIND ABOUT TOXIC MALE?

Feeling like you need to talk to someone?  Talk.  Talk about your feelings, show affection, affection and, again, talk.  

You will not be “less man” for opening up, for not getting into a fight at the bar with that guy who looked at you crookedly or for not driving while intoxicated - in fact, you will demonstrate triple strength when realizing that you take your own  decisions according to their genuine desires, and not according to some old concept that they threw in their lap.  

We used to say to the boys: “become a man!”, Encouraging them to hide their emotions.  But by forcing them to swallow their feelings, we impede their emotional intelligence and growth, as they never have the opportunity to deal with these emotions in a healthy way.  We discount their feelings because feeling is not "manly", often leading them to resort to violence throughout adolescence.  

“Boys who are allowed to feel their feelings learn to regulate their own emotions, in addition to practicing interaction with other people's emotions and, with adequate support, learn healthy engagement in all arenas of life: from family to career and to  spirituality, "writes Cindy Brandt, a renowned psychologist interviewed by The Guardian:" No, they will not grow weak and fragile.  Men with large egos are at a much greater risk of frailty.  Men who exhibit vulnerability are resilient - they win instead of demanding respect.  They become leaders who force genuine change in the world, who inspire men and women around them to reach their potential.  The truest sign of strength is in a man who allows himself not to control everything. ”


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