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DEPRESSION IN MEN: THE OF TOXIC MASCULINITY: WHAT IS TOXIC MASCULINITY AND HOW DOES IT CONTRIBUTE TO DEPRESSION IN MEN?

Men can't often even verbalize the words, "I am depressed." According to Mental Health America, six million men suffer from depression, and that depressive symptoms in boys have increased from 4.3 to 5.7%.nationwide. The most worrisome aspect of all of this is the fact that untreated depression can lead to anti-social behavior and suicide.

HOW TOXIC MASCULINITY HURTS MEN

Many men have difficulty expressing emotion due to toxic masculinity. Toxic masculinity refers to actions that discourage displays of emotion--other than anger--in men while also encouraging behavior that will deem the male "dominant" in a given situation. Even as children, young boys who express feelings are compared to girls in a negative context. Common responses to young males who become emotional include:

Boys don't cry!

Man up!

Don't be such a baby!

Don't cry like a girl!

Be a man--get over it!

You throw like a girl!

You've likely heard these phrases directed at you or someone around you. You have probably noticed them in dialogue or in storylines on television shows and movies. And, you may even be guilty of uttering them yourself.

Imagine being a young boy, crying over a painful injury or an emotional heartbreak that feels like the end of the world, and then being told to "man up," instead of being gently asked what's making you cry, how you feel about it, and what you think you can do about it.

When feelings are dismissed and gender-defining thinking is heard repeatedly, a young person learns to avoid expressing their real feelings and begins to bottle up sadness. Over time, such behavior can lead to a dysfunctional emotional expression and ultimately, depression.

A CYCLE OF DEPRESSION IN MEN: RECOGNIZING THE SYMPTOMS

When a young boy grows up after absorbing the negativity portrayed by others, they often raise their own children--especially boys--the same way. Society dictates that boys be raised to believe that confidence, strength, success, and composure are the core elements of being a man, and anything "emotional" is girly or womanly, and should therefore be stifled and ignored. For this reason, symptoms of depression in men often manifest differently than they do in women.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION IN MEN INCLUDE:

Eating disorders

Erectile dysfunction

Fatigue

Feeling sad or angry inside but showing rage and anger to appear masculine

Unable to perform daily chores

Increased irritability

Lack of concentration

Lack of interest at work and in family

Lack of sleep

Self-medication with street drugs

Suicidal thoughts

Men, Masculinity, and External

Coping

Men raised in a system that promotes traditional masculinity have complicated feelings towards their own emotions. Often, they attempt to shut them off or avoid them completely. I believe that this is the reason why men are more likely to use external methods to cope with the inward turmoil and pain caused by depression. Lastly, many men express their internal conflicts by directing anger at those around them, like their partners or children. What do all of these external "coping" methods have in common? None of them actually help men cope with, or even face, what they are actually struggling with.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

We need to change how we see depression in men; depression is not related to gender. Change your expectations and reactions. Men suffering from depression never share their feelings because they would be mocked. The fact is that when someone is suffering from depression, sharing their feelings and emotions is necessary to help them cope with the problem. We need to be better friends, better ears, and better partners and be the support that men need.

Be part of the solution by sincerely encouraging men to help them express emotions better. We must accept the fact that expressing emotion and crying are normal tendencies for all people, regardless of gender. Crying must not be associated with gender roles. Addressing and processing emotions is what makes us human, and crying is a fundamental emotion.

Each person is born with unique assets and challenges that affect how they grow and develop biologically, psychologically, and socially. Adult family members as well as adults in neighborhoods, schools and the broader community, can facilitate that person moving toward growth and development.

We can change the model of masculinity by telling children that it's fine for boys to express and show emotion. Male role models can practice what they preach by expressing affection and emotion: telling their children they love them; being comfortable hugging them; showing that it's okay to cry at weddings, funerals, when they are injured, etc. and discussing everyday emotions such as, "my day at work was overwhelming and I struggled with some low points." Teaching boys how to express their emotions adequately is the key to helping them become emotionally expressive. These lessons will have a positive effect on their life in the future.

It has been too long, that we have lived with the traditional model of masculinity and if you ask me, NOW is a great time to change how the society perceives emotional responses in men. Take it one step at a time, one day at a time. Your family, friends, and colleagues are helpful resources.

https://www.psycom.net/depression-in-men/depression-in-men-toxic-masculinity/

FAST FACTS

On Backstreet Abortions Worldwide

* 14% OF MATERNAL DEATHS in Namibia are as 3 cause of illegal back-street abortions.

* IN 2018 NAMIBIA RECORDED 7335 CASES OF ILLEGAL ABORTIONS, with the number of unrecorded cases, that number is expected to reach at least 10 000.

* MORE THAN 30,000 WOMEN STILL DIE from botched abortions each year worldwide. And restrictions on abortion only increase the number of women who seek illegal and unsafe methods.

* Officially, just 1,055 WOMEN OBTAINED A LEGAL ABORTION IN POLAND in 2016, while illegal abortions numbered up to 150,000, according to Krystyna Kacpura, the executive director of the Federation for Women and Family Planning (FEDERA).

* WORLDWIDE SOME 20 MILLION UNSAFE ABORTIONS take place each year and account for approximately 13% of all maternal mortality and serious complications associated with it, such as sepsis, hemorrhage and trauma. Only a quarter of all women in the world do not have any access to legal abortion, whereas 40% have a legal right to decide for themselves. This liberalization of abortion legislation has seen a tremendous drop in abortion-related maternal mortality. Death from unsafe abortions are almost unknown in countries where abortion is available on request.
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Title Annotation:BROTHER NAMIBIA
Publication:Sister Namibia
Geographic Code:6NAMI
Date:Jan 1, 2019
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