Mens Issues and Problems



Femininity versus masculinity is often a highly debated issue in society today, especially in the first world, where men and women are seen as different and are expected to be doing different things. While women still have a long way to come when it comes to being treated equally in life, the workplace, and everywhere in between, men also suffer in society.

The ideal man is often what makes a man suffer the most. As a man, you’re expected to be tough, you’re expected to not cry, and you’re expected to be the bread winner. This leads to other issues, such as you’re expected to be a father, you’re expected to love sports and not want to share your emotions, because doing so would be too “girly.” If you show even a hint of weakness, society could eat you alive. And even if it won’t, men are often trained to expect that to happen, and so they won’t, anyway.

Challenges Men Face

If a woman is not perfect, society often expects it. It doesn’t make it any better for women, because it sets such a low standard that they aren’t expected to really be able to accomplish anything. However, if a man isn’t perfect, he’ll often be berated for it. Men live in a world of constant aggression as well; from the time you’re small, you’re encouraged to participate in rough-contact sports such as American football, where the more aggressive you are, the more praise you get. You aren’t allowed to cry, and if you get hurt, you’ll often be told to “walk it off” rather than getting any kind of sympathy.

The biggest problem men face is the idea that sharing any kind of emotion is considered girly, and that being girly is not something they want to be. Males have a much lower incidence of being diagnosed with mental illnesses that affect their emotions, such as depression, or ones that result from pressure from peers and society, such as eating disorders. These are often swept under the rug because you know you’re expected to tough it out, so if you feel like you’re spiraling into depression, you won’t tell someone. What if it isn’t even that big of a deal? What if you do go to a person, and you aren’t taken seriously? Or the person laughs at you? Men are often conditioned this way, to just keep everything in. And that can be hurtful, if not completely deadly, depending on just what it is you’re suffering from.

How Men’s Problems Can Affect Their Relationships

If you’re going by the stereotype, you can often have very dysfunctional relationships. A man is supposed to be aggressive, a man is supposed to fight for what he wants, and he isn’t allowed to show emotions. While you might not extend this fully to feelings of love, it can often be hard for someone who’s been conditioned this way to be able to show someone they love how they feel.

If you don’t like to display emotions because you think it will make you seem weak, you might be unable to tell when, for instance, your romantic partner has issues with something you are doing. You’re trying to be the ideal man, and so you think what you do and say is just a product of that. But if your partner wants you to be more emotionally available, or they’re worried about you because they think that you’re hurt by something that’s happened in your life but you’re bottling it up, you might close off even more. You might even get angry with the person if they keep trying to get you to talk.

It isn’t just when it comes to relationships, of course; not wanting to share emotions applies to pretty much anyone in a man’s life, so you might end up not having good relationships with your family and friends just because you aren’t willing to tell them when something is wrong or when you need help. 

How Therapy Can Help

Therapy is the first line defense for someone with emotional problems. For men, simply bottling up emotions is not necessarily a mental problem, and so being willing to go to a psychologist and talk things out is a step in the right direction. Even if you aren’t willing to talk to them right away about just what you’re feeling, knowing you have somewhere to go every week or every month if something goes wrong in your life, and that you can talk to your psychologist and they won’t judge you, can be a huge help. If you do suffer from symptoms of depression or anxiety, therapists are trained to be able to see the signs of that even if no one else has, so if you haven’t been willing to talk to someone about it, they’ll be able to tell and suggest you get help.

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