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Men & Mental Health: “Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota” The Stigma Linked To Men’s Emotions

The long-living patriarchy and the imposition of masculinity are taking a toll on men’s mental health. Read about men’s and mental health


Living in the 21st century, we have been talking alot about mental health, NO? Thankfully, we have started to realise that we need to discuss it. Now, if we look at the entire issue of mental health, it is not a stand-alone thing that can only be defined by disorders but is deeply influenced by the lifestyle and environment in which a person is brought up.

Mental health is essential every day and is not independent but intersectional. It depends on variables like caste and community, religion, work culture, education, family and atmosphere, lifestyle and living standard, social environment, gender, etc. So, it is clear that it is an umbrella term, not to your surprise. We have been trying to cover all these intersectionalities through our write-ups, and in this one, we would like to talk about men & mental health.

Men who have been fed the idea that they are the head of the family are supposed to be strong. They are not likely to feel weak, and crying is something that they can’t do. Our patriarchal society has been feeding men such masculine ideas for ages. Many men don’t try to enjoy their masculinity and instead let it become toxic. Still, there are instances where the imposition and appropriation of emotions, responsibilities, and feelings can affect their mental health. The stigma affects men and makes them suffer and suffocate to fit in with the ideas associated with their gender.

how to fight depression
Image Source – Pixabay

Ladke NAHI Rote 

Rohit, a 23-year-old boy, puts the whole experience rightly, saying, “Well, I can’t say about the head of the family as I’m in my 20s now, but yes, there are things that affect me mentally as a boy. People start to realise they have a bigger responsibility. From a very young age to becoming a man, you’ll have to work to support the family (your father mostly).

People tell you you need to be responsible, and sometimes it becomes depressing. Your self-esteem goes down, especially when people start pointing out their salaries. The men’s salary should be higher than the women’s, etc. The other thing is that you can’t get emotional in public, even in front of your family and friends. You can’t cry; you can’t speak up about your emotions. People want you to be strong all the time, mentally as well as physically. A feeble and non-muscular body shape is yet another thing that hurts you emotionally. People start calling you by absurd names (typically abusive, but not many people consider them abusive).”

 No one likes an emotional man

“We men are made to take pride in our masculinity. We can’t talk like a woman, and we can’t make crazy expressions because we are men. If we do anything feminine, we are body shamed and demeaned in so many harsh ways, and it’s always tricky to talk about it. If we, as men, show our emotional side, we are too vulnerable. No one likes an emotional man. These stereotypes force us to behave masculine even though we aren’t; because of this, we lose self-confidence. We are the ones who have to please others. “Gaurang Sahu, 23.

“Where this stigmatization can be lethal to mental health, it is something, that starts from childhood. “Man-up” or “mard bano” is the most toxic thing that not just hinders growth but mental and emotional well being. It leads them to hiding emotions, ignoring and not confessing emotions, sabotaging oneself for one’s emotions, and it leads to bottling up of emotions. And, then the final day, it becomes so suffocating to live with” Shantanu Salhotra, 21.

Mard bano

“Where this stigmatisation can be lethal to mental health, it starts in childhood. “Man-up” or “mard bano” is the most toxic thing that hinders growth and mental and emotional well-being. It leads them to hide emotions, ignore and not confess, sabotage themselves for their emotions, and bottle up emotions. And, on the final day, it becomes so suffocating to live with it,” Shantanu Salhotra, 21.

It’s high time now that we start speaking about men & mental health together. Their conditions, problems and peace should be ignored in the name of  Mardangi.

Edit- Ayushi Mittal

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Ishika Aggarwal

Can write, shoot, listen, talk and procrastinate. A feminist at heart, Ishika is an avid writer and multimedia person who loves talking about women, realism, and society. When not working she is either seen watching films or making one.
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