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International Men’s Day 2020: Be a man, not stereotyped

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International Men Day 2020 || Mental Health || Stereotyped || Men have been constantly taught to ‘be a man’ and in the process what is left out is the introspection of this very concept of ‘being a man’. Adjectives like strong, fearless, arrogant, self-sustained and ‘man of the house’ have done more wrong than good to them. November 19 is observed as International Men’s Day and the theme for the year 2020 is ‘Better health for men and boys’. Here is why we need to talk about it. (International Men Day 2020 || Mental Health || Stereotyped ||)

Men and Patriarchy

Patriarchy have killed their chances to ask help and to break down when need be. The scanning eyes prevailing in society keeps a check on their masculinity. It is very inhuman to not allow a gender to fall into pieces when they are not ok.  It is inhuman to call them names to degrade their existence. The shell that is created for men is a toxic environment. 

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Statistics on men’s mental health

According to 2019 data of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for every 100 suicide deaths, 70.2 were male and 29.8 females. 
The stereotype created for men have isolated them from the emotional dependency which has made their condition worse. 
Men are less likely to talk about their emotional status around public which lessens their chance to seek out help. They are more likely to become dependent on alcohol in order to avoid talking. 

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Symptoms to look out for:

  • aggressiveness, anger and irritability
  • changes in mood 
  • changes in appetite 
  • change in sleeping habits
  • difficulty in focusing
  • feeling restless 
  • alcohol consumption 
  • inappropriate use of drugs
  • participating in risky activities
  • feeling sad, hopeless, numb
  • having aches, pains
  • obsessive or compulsive thoughts or behaviors

Physical Health

Being the primary bread earner in family, men tend to ignore their physical health. The pressure to keep work, social and personal life on track physical health suffers a lot. 

It is very important to manage risky behaviors such as drinking, smoking too much. Keeping a check on how your body responds of your daily habits helps you to understand your body in a better way.

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Emotional Quotient

The widely spread stereotype that women are more emotional than men has served another toxic environment for men. Since childhood boys are taught to be strong, not to cry and appear in a certain masculine way. They are taught to minimize certain emotions like guilt, shame, vulnerability and sadness. 

While women often express their emotions fluently and frequently, men generally avoid such talk. They try to portray themselves how social norms have asked them to. Suppressing these emotions leads to more severe conditions such as anxiety, depression and sometimes suicides. 

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So what needs to be done?

Men, you should allow yourself to come out of all the stereotypes created for you. Talk it out. Seek medical help if need be. You have been taught all the wrong things and that is okay if you allow yourself to relearn things for better. 

Disclaimer: (This Article is written by Poonam Kumari. The writer is a young freelance journalist and writer who write time to time on social issues. The writer have worked with NDTV News Channel, Zee Media and is also an Alumni of Indian Institute of Mass Communication, IIMC New Delhi.)

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