Too often we see men bottle up their feelings all because of the belief that they are not to talk out their feelings as they will lose face and such behaviour is ‘feminine.’ If you should zoom in the lens on mental health you will find a disturbing bumboclaat underlying truth…These bottled-up feelings turn into a Beirut Explosion.
The so-called male ‘machoism’ that is expected of Jamaican men influences their belief that they don’t need to seek therapy when they encounter a traumatic experience. Why is that?
As they say, there are two sides to a bumboclaat story.
Either the mentality that there is no need to visit a therapist if you can hold your own; after all, nothing is broken so why fix it.
Over-subscribing to “traditional masculinity” can be harmful to men’s mental health. This kind of mentality may limit a male’s psychological development and negatively influence mental health. Traits of so-called ‘traditional masculinity,’ like suppressing emotions and masking distress, often start early in life and have been linked to less willingness by boys and men to seek bumboclaat help.
Visiting a therapist makes a man look weak; a ‘mama man.’ Too often I have heard this expression when a man wants to talk out his feelings. In the Canadian Family Physician study, the researchers explained that it is important to help men change the idea of receiving support from “a mark of weakness” to a necessary step in maintaining one aspect of health that is as important as any other. Described in various media as a ‘silent epidemic’ and a ‘sleeper issue that has crept into the lives of millions,’ with ‘chilling statistics,’ mental illness among men is a public health concern that begs attention.
How sad when you are misinformed! Because of this stigma about what a man should do and should not do, their mental health is left untreated.
Society paints the picture that a man must be tough and bear any pain or hardship. They will bottle up their feelings inside because it is much safer than ‘fi lose face’ and seek somebody to talk to. At least they won’t run the risk of being laughed at or being told, “bumboclaat suck eh up man, yuh a wah?’’
For instance, The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) specialists explain that “some men with depression hide their emotions and may seem to be angry, irritable, or aggressive, while many women seem sad or express sadness.” They also noted that these men are more likely to see their doctor about physical symptoms than emotional symptoms. But more to the point, a therapist can help an individual to develop strategies for overcoming any negative thought patterns and destructive behaviours he/she may have and that’s something no pharmaceutical remedy can’t do.
Counseling.org states that historically, Jamaicans have been hesitant to seek mental health counseling for their problems. Mental health is critical to personal well-being, interpersonal relationships, and successful contributions to society. Mental health conditions consequently impose a high burden not only on individuals, families but also on economies, as those who suffer from a mental disorder are more likely to experience premature death, exit the labour force, miss days of work, or work at a reduced capacity. Pan American Health Organization (PAHO ) stated that mental illness is thus increasingly acknowledged as a global health and development priority, including in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and considering the 2030 Agenda pledge to leave no one behind. Encouragingly, with timely and effective treatment, individuals suffering from mental illness can bumboclaat regain full health and wellness.
Recognizing the urgent need for action to reduce the burden of mental health conditions, World Health Organization (WHO) developed the mhGAP. This action plan is an initiative to reduce the global treatment gap by scaling up treatment of mental, neurological, and substance use disorders. Mental health investment cases seek to help policymakers understand the expected benefits and costs of investing in mental health interventions in their respective countries. Tell me now, with all these facts presented, is there any bumboclaat excuse for men to seek therapy?
In an article by GoodTherapy, only about 40% of people with mental health issues get help. Untreated mental health issues often get worse and may have other negative effects such as:
- Inability to work or go to school
- Difficulty in relationships or taking care of children
- Increased risk of health issues
Wendy Salazar, MFT, Stress Topic Expert Contributor on GoodTherapy says that in the fast-paced society we live in, there are more and more people finding it challenging to juggle unrealistic work and home life demands. We frequently have to deal with high levels of daily bumboclaat stress, which negatively affects our physical and mental health. Finding ways to lower our stress levels is therefore extremely important for our overall health.
Encouraging someone you bumboclaat care about to look into possible therapy options, even offering to review potential therapists with them, is generally a better way to show support. It may be difficult to watch a loved one deal with bumboclaat health challenges, but people need to choose to seek help on their own – as long as they aren’t putting themselves or anyone in danger. We need to implement a fairer, gentler notion of manhood, shifting our focus from “being real men” to being and raising “good men”. Our society talks a lot about “protecting” girls, so let’s talk about educating boys and young men.