Jack is 17 years old and is studying English Literature, Modern History, Law, and English Language at sixth form. Jack decided to get involved with the Student Life magazine because he wanted to write to support mental health, and anti-bullying.
Up until recent years, society has become more ‘capable’ of speaking out about mental health. This is great, and partially due to the stigma surrounding it being extinguished by celebrities, and other high-profile figures which we sometimes tend to idolise.
Stereotypically, if we reverse the history of our society, men were always deemed to be the members of the family who were to maintain a stiff upper lip, and not show their true feelings and emotions otherwise, they would be deemed as cowards. Nowadays, society has become more accepting of mental health, and mental health surrounding male individuals.
For those who have served in the armed forces, and on the frontlines of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and so forth, the cases of men who have served in these conditions returning home with diagnoses of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) has helped release the stigma attached to this older attitude towards male mental health, linking back to my previous point whereby for many years men were expected to not show any signs of ‘weakness’… Essentially, not being able to truly show their emotions.
Personally, since recently moving into sixth form and having completed the new, reformed GCSEs a matter of months ago I myself have come to terms with my mental health as a male, realising that potentially I suffer with anxiety (although not clinically diagnosed). It has only become apparent to me recently; however, I feel grateful that I am able to comfortably talk about it to my friends and family – which also makes me reminisce to the times not long ago when it was unheard of for men to do so.
The point is, with society nowadays it is absolutely no problem if you suffer with a mental health condition (even if you are male) and that with how society has changed we can talk about it publicly, with no fear as such of being subjected to abuse or being discriminated against for doing so.
I greatly appreciate that with no major stigma surrounding mental health (especially regarding men) anymore, that we may live with a mental health condition.