Why Toxic Masculinity Can Lead To Depression In Men

How many times have we heard or even uttered the words: man up or you throw like a girl or stop crying like a little girl? Although this is a deep-seated approach in our culture, it’s very hurtful for both men and women. They all rely on an ideal of masculinity that no one will ever be able to live up to.

Trying to conform to society’s ideal of masculinity can become incredibly stressful and exhausting for men. This is probably the number one cause for anxiety, panic attacks and depression among guys.

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New research on the correlation between obeying these masculinity rules and mental health tells us that this is very much the case in our modern society. There have been previous studies to suggest that such a connection exists. But this is the first study of its kind that puts men and mental health under the lens.

Researchers found that men who strive to achieve the traditional masculine ideals are facing depression. The analysis also suggests that these men are less likely to ask for help or look for professional support.

The 3 ideals that are hurting men the most are:

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1. Self-reliance

This means they never get help for anything and prefer to rely on themselves only. This cuts them off entirely from social connection.

2. Playboy

This is related to how they treat and perceive women.

3. Power over women

This is also associated with their hostility towards women, but also towards gay or more feminine men. Taking this into consideration, we can say sexism has serious health consequences, aside from being a grand social injustice.

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Bottom line is toxic masculinity is hurting everybody and we need a moment to stop and reflect over how we are raising our little boys. Considering the fact that social connection is the backbone of well-being and happiness, most men simply deprive themselves of it. They choose to not talk about their emotions with their male friends for fear of judgment or alienation.

But in avoiding their feelings they are alienating themselves not only from each other, but also from themselves. Seeking help whether from a friend or a professional could impact their lives positively. They might even be able to repair the broken relationships of the past.

There is hope that with new generations of boys, men will find the strength to be more vulnerable and embrace their emotions.

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It is up to them to form strong social bonds and find happiness in connecting with their loved ones. Please share this!