Are Mental Health Services Inherently Feminized?

Man with brown beard crying in front of pink flowers

Men Are Not Expected To Be Strong And Silent

While more people are opening up to the idea of receiving mental health services, the stigma regarding men who receive mental health services being viewed as “weak” has still not completely gone away; however, we are improving and making great strides! But mental health services are not inherently feminized: both men and women seek it every day all around the world.

The old macho mentality of men being expected to be “strong and silent” is outdated and unhelpful. A man’s character is not judged by how well he can conceal his mental health problems; “strong and silent” is actually equivalent to weak and scared. What men need to do is take the leadership role in society and show other men and women that it’s okay to come out about your mental health issues!

It’s very unhealthy for anyone to bury their mental health problems; add a low self-esteem on top of that and it can turn into a deadly situation. Suicide is currently the 10th leading cause of death worldwide! And it can especially be difficult for men to admit to experiencing negative thoughts, out of fear of being seen as weak by other men and women.

Women! We need your help to show all the men in the world that it’s alright to speak out about mental health problems. We need as many women as possible to let all the men in the world know that they are not viewed as “weaker”, just because they are suffering from depression, anxiety, OCD, social phobia, etc.

We are all in this together: men, women, children, elderly, black, white, red, yellow, brown, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, rich, poor, straight, gay, bi, etc. Mental health services have no boundaries: anyone is welcome and should seek mental health treatment for any issues which they are dealing with. Those who are strongest are the ones who have enough courage to seek help.

Do not be fooled by the idea that if you are not seeking mental health services for your problems, that you are somehow “stronger” or “better” than others. You are only doing yourself a disservice. Life is about being happy, coming up with solutions for your problems and helping others who can also benefit.

If you are still not convinced, that’s okay; maybe you still need some time. But we here at The DSM Ready community will always keep our doors open for anyone who is seeking love, education, freedom and friendship. We do not discriminate. We are all in this together: one blood under God.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Can Mental Health Issues Be Cured?

Mentally ill man dressed in gray shirt and tie staring down

Living With A Mental Illness

The word cure is very powerful: to relieve someone of his or her illness. Multiple physical conditions can be cured, but something like a mental illness is not curable. It doesn’t mean that you will experience an illness for your entire life; you may not even experience an illness for longer than 6 months! But we cannot say that your depression is “cured” when we don’t even know what causes depression in the first place.

The truth is that we do not know what causes anxiety, schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD and many more. We have theories based on altered neurotransmitter levels, genetic mutations, malfunctioning receptors and traumatic memories, but we do not have a definitive explanation as to what causes a mental illness.

But just because mental health issues cannot be cured, does not mean that you cannot successfully recover from them. Many people continue to live normal lives after being diagnosed with social anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, panic disorder, OCD, borderline personality disorder, etc.

As of today, the aim is not to cure a mental illness: it’s too treat it and stabilize the patient to the point of achieving remission. Remission means that an illness is under control and a person can live a normal life without being symptomatic. No treatment is perfect, and residual symptoms may linger depending on your personality and severity of the illness.

The hope remains that one day we will have a cure for all mental illnesses. But until then, we must remain positive that the treatments that we do have available are capable of controlling the symptoms brought upon by a mental illness. Many people do obtain symptomatic control with psychiatric medications, psychotherapy, family support and a positive mindset!

Never lose hope in your recovery. There is always help around the corner and The DSM Ready Community is always available for comfort and support!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

I Am Not Ashamed Of My Medications

Person holding psychiatric medications

You Are Not Alone: Taking Psychiatric Medications

There is a tendency by many people to be ashamed of their psychiatric medications due to stigma. God forbid if someone finds out that you take Celexa, Prozac or Haldol . . . your life will be filled with shame and agony. Except that it won’t. Nobody actually cares if you take psychiatric medications.

So many people are on psychiatric medications that it has almost become a norm; and that is a good thing! Not because medications need to be freely prescribed without an indication, but because it should help people realize that mental illness is real and that medications help!

There should be no shame in taking psychiatric medications to help treat your mental illness. If someone gives you a hard time, then reconsider your relationship with them; your health and mental well-being come first. What’s the difference between taking Insulin for diabetes or Lopressor for hypertension and taking Lexapro for depression?

Just as how the body requires medications for proper functioning, so does the brain. Not everyone’s body works the same. Some people develop physical complications while others develop mental complications. Whichever is the cause behind the illness, it sometimes requires medication for proper regulation.

You should not be feeling any pressure in telling others that you take psychiatric medications; that’s not anyone’s business but yours. But you also shouldn’t be living a tormenting life by swallowing your psychiatric medications in embarrassment. Be thankful that you have access to mental health care; other parts of the world do not!

Don’t give power to hate. Help spread what is good and loving by coming out of the shadows, and empowering others to talk about their mental illness and psychiatric treatments!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)