man's head with an overlay image of trees and sunshine representing mental health for Men's Health Month

Men’s Health Month: It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

Three worrisome behaviors associated with men struggling with their mental health …

As many of you know, I dedicate my work to healthy aging and longevity through speaking, writing and posting blogs on my website, PowerOf5Life. This June, I want to continue what I started in May by addressing a topic crucial to overall well-being, especially for men: mental health.

Men & Mental Health

Men often face unique challenges when it comes to mental health. Stigma, the belief that seeking help is a sign of weakness, can be a significant barrier. We’re conditioned by societal expectations to be stoic, unemotional pillars of strength. This can lead men to internalize struggles, creating a pressure cooker of emotions that can ultimately boil over.

The statistics paint a sobering picture. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the leading cause of death for men ages 45-54. This isn’t just a number. Take professional golfer Grayson Murray, for example. Openly discussing his struggles with anxiety and depression, Murray highlights the very real challenges men face. He, like many others, wants to be known for his golfing prowess, not his mental health struggles and suicide.

Here’s the key takeaway: seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but of strength and self-awareness. Just like we wouldn’t hesitate to see a doctor for a physical ailment, addressing our mental health is equally important.

Breaking the Stigma: It’s Okay to Talk

Stigma thrives in silence. Let’s break the cycle by openly discussing mental health. Talk to your friends, family, and even your doctor. Normalize seeking professional help, whether it’s therapy or medication. Remember, these are tools, just like any other healthcare interventions and not limited to just wealthy celebrities.

Beyond Stoicism: Expressing Your Emotions

Stoicism, the idea of suppressing emotions, might seem like the “manly” approach, but it can be detrimental. Bottling up emotions leads to stress, anxiety, and even physical health problems. Find healthy outlets for your emotions, whether it’s talking to a trusted confidant, engaging in physical activity, or pursuing creative hobbies.

Suicide Prevention: You Are Not Alone

For those struggling with suicidal thoughts, please know you’re not alone. There is help available. Reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. We are all valued, and there is hope for a brighter future.

Taking Charge of Your Mental Health

Men, prioritize your mental well-being. Here are some actionable steps:

  • Talk to your doctor. A physical exam can rule out any underlying physical conditions contributing to your mental health.
  • Consider therapy. Talking to a therapist can provide a safe space to explore your challenges and develop coping mechanisms.
  • Build a support network. Surround yourself with positive, supportive people who care about your well-being.
  • Prioritize self-care. The Power of 5 formula applies here: Get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and engage in activities you enjoy. Exercise is a powerful tool for managing stress and improving mood. Avoid loneliness by interacting with others and develop relaxation techniques to mitigate stress.

Men’s Mental Health Resources

Power of 5 isn’t just about physical health. It’s about mental well-being too. Here are some resources for men seeking help:

Our Full Potential

Remember, Grayson Murray would want to be remembered for his golf, not his mental health struggles. By prioritizing our mental well-being, we can all achieve our full potential, free from the burden of stigma and suppressed emotions. Let’s include mental health in our conversation during Men’s Health Month; it’s not a shameful secret. Together, we can create a culture where men feel empowered to seek help and live healthier, happier lives.

To a long and healthy life,

David Bernstein MD

My blog content was generated by a human (David Bernstein) with the polishing aid of artificial intelligence.

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