Men’s mental health is overlooked

Mental health is a very prominent issue among teens today.
Statistics have shown that there is a rise in depression and anxiety among teens worldwide.
However, it can be extremely difficult for guys to open up and share their problems, especially with teenage boys.
“Yeah, I feel like a lot of guys in high school go through stuff, but they don’t have an outlet to vent,” senior Chris Khuc said.
When it comes to the topic of mental health, the expectations for men and women are very different in society, which can be seen portrayed in the media.
Many guys feel like their mental health issues are ignored.
“It [Men’s mental health] gets overlooked because people think everything is okay with them [men] and they’re just fine, but really they have their struggles too and their own problems,” junior Tim Hurd said.
There is a general idea that it is much more difficult for men to talk about their mental health problems than it is for women.
Many believe that the reason why it is easier for women to share and speak freely on their mental health conditions is because they are not held to a certain stereotype.
“I feel like over time people have just been known to assume men are strong and say ‘I’m a man, I don’t have to worry about other things’,” Hurd said.
Society sets strict expectations for what certain genders can be like.
For men, this can include the way they dress, how they act, and what they say.
However, not meeting these expectations can cause a toll on men’s mental health.
“I think men fear that they won’t be able to live up to the societal expectations of being a ‘man,’” senior Kenneth Anderson said. “They’re constantly on edge so that they’re not perceived as anything less than utmost masculinity.”
A big part of society’s expectations for men is based on how masculine a guy may look.
Big muscles are always associated with masculinity.
If a guy doesn’t think he looks muscular enough, it can cause him to look down on himself.
“This [societal expectations] also plays into male body issues, where men feel pressure to be extremely muscular in order to be found attractive,” Anderson said “This enforces an unhealthy lifestyle whereupon men can develop eating disorders and decreased mental health.”
Having a stereotypic standard of being strong for guys can also make some feel a sense of pressure to avoid speaking upon their problems.
“Girls can talk to their best friends, but guys keep to themselves more,” sophomore Hasnat Rayhan said. “If a guy were to confide in his friend, his friend would joke around with him or tell him to toughen up.”
However, as society continues to change everyday, there are some that have noticed that pressure on men starts to lessen.
“I think that at one point it was hard for people to speak about it, but now people are becoming more open about it because it’s becoming a bigger topic,” Hurd said. “Especially with the new generation and stuff, people are starting to talk about it more which is good, but there is still progress to be made.”