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It drives me up the wall when men complain about the stigmas they face when it comes to mental health. Therapy is something that exists, they don't ban men from it, you just don't want your bros mocking you the way they mock women who have mental health issues. Men are incredibly cruel to mentally ill women, to the point of targeting us to sexually and emotionally and physically abuse us because they know we're more vulnerable. Men mock us for the emotional issues caused by abusive or neglectful fathers. Men relentlessly accuse us of faking disorders for attention or lying or being pathetic and weak whenever we're open about our struggles, or even if we just dare to be attractive and struggling. Obviously all beautiful women live life on easy mode so they're all faking it for... pity? Tumblr clout? Instagram likes??

Men are incredibly fucking cruel to us, regardless of how we look! It's not EASIER to be a mentally ill woman, women are just more likely to be responsible and mature enough to seek help from people who are qualified and paid to deal with our problems when we need it.

And a lot of these same men? Looooove using the women in their lives as therapists and agony aunts. I cannot tell you how many times a dude I don't even know has started talking to me about all his issues mere minutes/hours/days after meeting me. I cannot tell you how many times each of my friends and I have been used as a living emotional crutch by some random dude who thinks that US helping THEM means that we owe them sex. I cannot tell you how many times I had to be my father's emotional support as a child. And then they'll turn right back around and talk shit about mentally ill women when mentally ill men are the ones so much more likely to hurt other people. They just hate mentally ill women for existing, for having the audacity to struggle. Don't we know that having a vagina means that everything is easier for us?!

So I have very little patience with men struggling to open up about their mental health to their bros. That is their responsibility, a problem that toxic masculinity has perpetuated. Women are BEGGING men to go to therapy and stop dumping this on us. THERAPISTS would be more than willing to get more clients. Men simply don't want to perform the emotional labor and introspection that therapy requires of them. The only thing they seem to want is pity sex.

It drives me up the wall when men complain about the stigmas they face when it comes to mental health. Therapy is something that exists, they don't ban men from it, you just don't want your bros mocking you the way they mock women who have mental health issues. Men are incredibly cruel to mentally ill women, to the point of targeting us to sexually and emotionally and physically abuse us because they know we're more vulnerable. Men mock us for the emotional issues caused by abusive or neglectful fathers. Men relentlessly accuse us of faking disorders for attention or lying or being pathetic and weak whenever we're open about our struggles, or even if we just dare to be attractive and struggling. Obviously all beautiful women live life on easy mode so they're all faking it for... pity? Tumblr clout? Instagram likes?? Men are incredibly fucking cruel to us, regardless of how we look! It's not EASIER to be a mentally ill woman, women are just more likely to be responsible and mature enough to seek help from people who are qualified and paid to deal with our problems when we need it. And a lot of these same men? Looooove using the women in their lives as therapists and agony aunts. I cannot tell you how many times a dude I don't even know has started talking to me about all his issues mere minutes/hours/days after meeting me. I cannot tell you how many times each of my friends and I have been used as a living emotional crutch by some random dude who thinks that US helping THEM means that we owe them sex. I cannot tell you how many times I had to be my father's emotional support as a child. And then they'll turn right back around and talk shit about mentally ill women when mentally ill men are the ones so much more likely to hurt other people. They just hate mentally ill women for existing, for having the audacity to struggle. Don't we know that having a vagina means that everything is easier for us?! So I have very little patience with men struggling to open up about their mental health to their bros. That is their responsibility, a problem that toxic masculinity has perpetuated. Women are BEGGING men to go to therapy and stop dumping this on us. THERAPISTS would be more than willing to get more clients. Men simply don't want to perform the emotional labor and introspection that therapy requires of them. The only thing they seem to want is pity sex.

38 comments

[–] yougonnabebleedin 60 points (+60|-0) Edited

I think this is an yet another example of their solipsism. They are just so convinced that they experience hardships women could never dream of because as you know we just sit on the sofa eating bonbons. But the truth is that mental health is stigmatized for everybody. And while it may be true that men are discouraged from crying women are discouraged from expressing anger. And it's been proven time and time again that doctors don't take women very seriously when they express that they are in pain. We have been written off as being hysterical and dramatic since time began. So no man really don't have it worse when it comes to Mental Health.

Let me just add one way in which men make women's mental health even more of a joke. All of the fetishization and objectification of women with mental health issues that women really don't do to men. And they are so frequently just beyond disgusting about it like bragging about taking advantage of mentally ill women for sex, and the whole trope of "thank God for bad dads because then we wouldn't have strippers" and "crazy chicks are good in bed just make sure you pull out" and "don't stick your dick in crazy" and that whole crazy/hot scale made famous by How I Met Your Mother.

[–] SarahSaysSure 30 points (+32|-2) Edited

I wouldn’t even say that women aren’t stigmatized for crying, actually—how many times have we heard that women manipulate with tears or that women are weak because they cry? Instead of falling to a lower social status like men, however, women are kept at the same (low) status because tears are taken as confirmation that women are as weak as society threatens men to be (“man up”, i.e. “you wouldn’t want to fall to the level of a woman, would you”)?

To make an analogy: imagine if the r slur for disabled people was interpreted as a slight against neurotypicals because “you’re putting expectations on people to be perfect” or something like that. This ignores the root cause of the stigma in this hypothetical situation—that people with disabilities are othered, and in fact further insults them by implying that the r slur only matters when used against the poor neurotypicals with feelings that actually matter. Men/neurotypicals might raise a stink about it because being insulted in that way is such a drastic change from their normal lives, but no thoughts are had for the people who continually live under such marginalization. Obviously, they’ve grown used to it or something, or it doesn’t matter (the irony of putting down a marginalized group and thinking you’re progressive), or some other excuse along those lines.

[–] zephyrean 9 points (+9|-0)

and in fact further insults them by implying that the r slur only matters when used against the poor neurotypicals with feelings that actually matter

But i's true. The "r ""slur""" is not a slur (I'll abstain from using the word in this post because it's obviously triggering for you). It's a word for mentally deficient people which is only insulting when used against healthy people.

because being insulted in that way is such a drastic change from their normal lives

What "drastic change"?

The insult is this: a person is wrong on one specific issue (e.g. "the US survey mile is shorter than the international mile"), an attacker says she is mentally deficient and can't be trusted on all issues ever.

OR

The attacker disagrees with a person on one specific issue (e.g. "the universal basic income is more efficient than welfare") and says the person is mentally deficient by dint of that, and that everyone who espouses such a view is mentally deficient and can't be trusted on all issues ever. This has the added effect of chilling everyone else's speech for fear of being similarly ostracized.

It is insulting because it is defamation or slander. In short, a lie.

Saying mentally deficient people are mentally deficient is not a slur or insult. A slur for mentally deficient people would be something like "shit for brains".

[–] BlackCirce 36 points (+37|-1)

Men make a conscious choice between getting help for their problems but being weak and feminine, or pretending they don’t have a problem and being masculine. They actively choose being in pain, being dysfunctional, being hyper aggressive, abusive, broken and sui- and or homocidal over being emasculated. It’s their choice and it’s not the goal of the women’s liberation movement to convince men to be more feminine to save their lives.

The idea that it’s somehow “easier” for women to be mentally ill, propped up by suicide completion rates, right along side the idea that it’s “easier” and less humiliating for women to report sexual assault/rape and domestic violence allows men to persist in their fantasy that they are the ones truly oppressed. That relieves them of any political or social responsibility to improve women’s condition.

I think therapy makes men worse anyway, because therapy involves validation of the patient’s feelings and a lot of men’s mental problems come from their sense of entitlement. Just ask them. They’re mad about: random women who won’t have sex with them, wives who won’t cook what they want or get the boob job they want, girlfriends who work in high powered jobs, kids who won’t obey etc. The last thing these entitled men need is a 26 year old woman in a pencil skirt and heels telling them “wow your wife sounds like she has internalized misogyny, the way she keeps haranguing you about your porn viewing habits.” And if therapists do have the gall to tell these entitled men that they need to get themselves together and make positive changes that don’t involve giving the women in their lives extra emotional burdens, men individually and as a group will come down on therapy as “misandrist” and refuse to participate.

It all comes down to choice. Women choose to go to therapy and try to improve ourselves, because we want to, because we’ve been told there must be something wrong with us, because we don’t want to hurt our families by killing ourselves. We deal with the stigma of being madwomen, of being labeled unreliable and irrational, and we power through. That’s just yet another way women are better than men. Men don’t want to be associate with our strength, our sociability, our commitment to the community. They want to be manly. Let them!

[–] FireproofWitch 26 points (+27|-1)

It’s an excellent point you’ve raised about men and therapy. The number of times I’ve heard abusive men use the language they learned in therapy to gaslight their partners and make them walk on eggshells can’t be a coincidence. They go to therapy not to improve themselves, but to find another avenue to bring down the people around them and get others to cater to their emotional whims.

Men’s collective mental health and sense of self will truly improve, I’d wager, when they navel gaze less about their perceived ‘loss’ of rights, and instead choose to shoulder more of the responsibility in creating a better world.

[–] Alecto 8 points (+8|-0)

I don't understand how men can take everything good in this world and manage to turn it into a weapon.

[–] levitation [OP] 1 points (+1|-0)

Yeah therapy usually makes abusive men WORSE unless the therapist knows ahead of time, usually via court mandate, that they're dealing with an abuser. Abusive men are masterful manipulators and liars who often accuse their victims of verbally or emotionally abusing them and thus "provoking" whatever physical violence they mete out.

[–] A_Matriarch 25 points (+25|-0) Edited

They want to be manly, let them!

Whoooo that’s
fire 🔥 You’re so right.

I remember a few years ago reading about the multi million dollar self help industry and how writers and publishers barely bother to write books for men because they’ve proven they won’t buy them, only women do. The self help section in every store across the country is propped up by women’s dollars and women’s good character to know when they need to fix themselves in the first place.. men don’t do this. Men bought that book “The game” , in droves however, the manual written by men who teach other men how to manipulate hoards of random women into sex.

[–] levitation [OP] 1 points (+1|-0)

Men would rather lie to and manipulate women than actually improve themselves in any way. Even guys like Jordan Peterson, who men worship, usually have a bunch of sexist talking points to draw them in because they're so incapable of seeing themselves as the problem.

Great point. It reminds of a friend of my dad, who was so proudly talking about his therapy where he learned that his problem was that his mother and first three wives were "men" (translation: women who did their jobs raising children, putting food on the table and not taking shit from him), but now thanks to therapy he's found a feminine woman who wears make and earrings and is finally happy. His words. I later found out that the woman he brought with him was not the 4th wife I know he has, but a mistress of 12 years. I felt really bad for her. She was a nice woman, 20 years younger than him, who I assume has really low self esteem.

[–] mil-bil 4 points (+5|-1) Edited

I really appreciate how you've explored the complexity here. These days, when I hear the word "validation," I'm close to breaking out in hives.

There's a dearth of therapists today who would give clients practical goals to work toward. Nodding along to the clients' monologues/lists of grudges is easier (and you might actually make more money off them that way!).

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has gotten a bad rap in recent years. I suppose it's because it actually requires that the clients DO stuff -- actually create change in their lives and take responsibility for their actions.

[–] Jinera 1 points (+3|-2)

As someone who has received cbt therapy for 6+ years from a variety of therapists and who knows several people having finished their psychology degree... the whole thing with cbt is that you do exactly nothing. Aside from telling patients that the way they think is wrong.

Men can get personality disorders, anxiety and depression, developmental disorders.. to act like they shouldn't go to therapy for it is actually sick. Everyone suffering with mental health issues deserves help, regardless of sex.

[–] mil-bil 1 points (+2|-1)

Thank you for your reply. Our experiences with CBT have been very different. I think helping clients recognize and intervene in negative thought patterns can have considerable benefits. I'm not arguing that it's the be all and end all of therapeutic approaches -- it isn't, and not all approaches will necessarily work for all clients.

I'm not sure how the second half of your comment relates to anything I've written. At no point did I argue or imply that some people should not have access to therapy. That's not a position I endorse.

[–] levitation [OP] 0 points (+0|-0)

Right? All these stigmas come from OTHER MEN. They perpetuate it themselves. They use it as a gotcha card whenever women dare to talk about sexism. I really cannot give a shit about men as a class because they create all their own problems!! I often feel bad for individual or marginalized men, but they're still gonna be sexist so I don't owe them my time and energy unless they reciprocate. And most of them don't.

[–] bunyip -1 points (+1|-2) Edited

I'm not here to defend any entitled men, but I think mental health is stigmatized for everyone with mental health issues.

I also think the stigma is caused by all of society, not just men. It's not only men who will mock a man with mental illness, there are women out there too who propagate the conservative stereotypes that men need to "man up" and ignore what's wrong with them, or else they're worthless. Mental illness sucks for everyone.

The idea that it’s somehow “easier” for women to be mentally ill

It's two sides of the same coin of sexist stereotypes. Society often treats women like children, doesn't take women seriously or see them as competent and capable... and if the woman is known to have mental health issues, any chance of being treated equally is gone. But from the male POV, it's easier because he has a lot to lose. He is valued and respected as a strong and capable and useful member of society. Women often aren't, so they don't have as much to lose. He is afraid of having his social status lowered to that of a woman.

[–] BlackCirce 4 points (+4|-0)

there are women out there too who propagate the conservative stereotypes that men need to "man up" and ignore what's wrong with them, or else they're worthless.

When women are supportive of male emotional expressions, we are accused of emasculating men. Especially if we are the wife or mother of the man in question. A sensitive, well socialized man is called a “momma’s boy,” “pussy whipped,” “cuck” and “simp.”

We aren’t all in this together. Men have control of the culture, and this is how they like it. Blaming women does no good, because we are not the cause of the problem.

He is afraid of having his social status lowered to that of a woman.

That’s. What. I. Said! This is the whole theme of my comment.

Men choose high social status (be manly and masculine) over saving their own lives. That’s their choice. It’s not women’s problem, it’s not an issue women can solve.

Men can decide “being alive and healthy and productive and moral is more important to me than masculine status” but for the most part they don’t. They’d rather die a real man than live a “simp” so let them.

Women often aren't, so they don't have as much to lose.

This makes as much sense as saying it’s easier for someone with one leg to lose the second one, than for someone with two legs to lose one. It’s fundamentally sexist and illogical.

Men have more, so they are losing less by admitting they have a problem. People look at them like “wow, this man had a mental problem and did the bare minimum to get healthy, what a king. He’s so brave!”

Whereas for the smallest reaction to abuse women would be put into the asylum or now diagnosed with multiple mental illnesses and put on antidepressants.

And that’s not even mentioning how male mental disturbances are framed as healthy and virtuous.

Even for men with the most depraved psychopathy people will search in his life history for abusive parents, frigid wives, cruel teachers, anyone to blame, so that these men (geniuses really!) can be relieved of personal responsibility.

I’m not buying it. Women have more to lose, because we have so little, and we risk that in order to improve ourselves, because our mental problems are always blamed on us. Men can’t tolerate the slightest, most survivable loss in status.

[–] glorygreens 24 points (+24|-0)

Boo hoo.

All the poor men. Soldiers and cops are regularly called into mental health care but they can't go because gee whiz, the other fellas would rib em awful hard. And those are some manly men! If they can't do it. what's the average guy supposed to do?

How quickly they've come to blame women for the system their granddaddies put in place to get rid of the inconvenient women in their lives.

Why it used to be so easy for men to get shut of loud women, frigid women, women who wanted to screw everyone but them. Used to be they could just lock us up in a nut hatch, after all. Go get em a new one. But then the loony bins got shut down. Worse, horror of horrors, men began having to pay us crazy bitches child support rather than just forgetting the 1st 40 years of their lives and making new, more agreeable families with their mistresses. Imagine the torment.

The institutions are gone but the stigma remains. Women are still "crazy" but since men can no longer ship us off on a whim (it takes money and patience) they prefer to feel oppressed that they are not explicitly afforded the social grace to be violently insane with no repercussions.

Yanno I just had a thought - wherever you stand on GC ideology, men have wanted to be women for a very long time.

Lord I wish we were more like elephants.

[–] Lioness 21 points (+21|-0)

I saw a post on peddit recently that was men complaining exactly the other side you are saying here and it bugged me but I couldn’t put it down in words and you just did! Thank you!

Men criticize women who say they want to be an ally to mental health awareness, because they assume that a woman saying she wants to remove stigma automatically equates to “she should let me rant to her unprompted” in their brains. They still inherently view women as a mom or therapist like you said. Notice how they never complain about men who want to increase mental health awareness?

I’m so sick of men expecting women to fix their problems. Go pay money to another man to listen to your bullshit.

[–] [Deleted] 18 points (+18|-0) Edited

Then there's the men who do seek help but are fired by their own therapists because they're too toxic for even professionals to handle. This is a true story: an ex-boyfriend of mine had been going to therapy for a while when we met. Fast-forward a few months and his (female) therapist tells him she can't continue treating him but can recommend other therapists. The reason? He told her sometimes he fantasized about hurting her and humiliating her. I guess he couldn't handle having a woman be more reasonable than him, which really wasn't difficult because this guy had the introspection capabilities of a parrot. Anyway, she understandably told him to fuck off and he never got in touch with another therapist.

Some men are ticking bombs and you can almost feel the danger. It's terrifying and nobody seems to be paying attention.

[–] birdcore 17 points (+17|-0)

There is a thread on Reddit front page right now with a video of a man destroying a plant in a fit of rage in a public area. Most of the comments are “he probably received bad news or his gf cheated, at least he didn’t punch anyone, poor guy :3 he’s going home to his family and he’s not going to beat them up”

Like, the bar is in hell. Never mind that flying into rage fits on inanimate objects means he probably escalates to animals and people. They’re excusing vandalism just because men can have a bad day.

If this was a woman who had a bad day and snapped at someone, Redditors would call her Karen and fantasize about punching her in the face. But being a raging violent male is a-ok!

[–] arachne 13 points (+13|-0)

Thanks for this post! As a woman with mental illness, the men with mental illnesses in my family abused me and used me to coddle their feelings and concerns about being bad people. The men I know with mental illnesses make me the one person to vent to and one called me his "Emotional support arachne." Some of the guys do the "You are the only person I have ever told" thing, but then when it comes to me and my need for support or even just...being a friend, I realize they just want me as a free therapist.

I have also had people say the "wow she looks crazy and as if she would be good in bed" to male partners before. I have been mocked, insulted, harassed for my struggles. I get the fact that going to therapy and working on yourself, dealing with your issues is TOUGH. It is tough for me, too, and other women! But women should not have to be teachers, mommies, therapists, etc for every man she gets close to. NONE of them have an idea of emotional labor or introspection, like you said! It feels almost impossible to have a balanced relationship with a man as a relative, friend, or romantic partner sometimes.

And then it takes one woman with mental illness to become "women are crazy". But one mentally ill man after the other doing crazy, sick things, and suddenly it's the individual's problem.

As a woman with a lot of issues, I feel enourmous pressure to not be "one crazy woman". I've had numerous panick attacks where I went on to hide to soothe myself to avoid being treated like another attention seeking woman.

Also, typical male behaviour to expect that women clean up after them.

[–] immersang 10 points (+10|-0)

And then it takes one woman with mental illness to become "women are crazy". But one mentally ill man after the other doing crazy, sick things, and suddenly it's the individual's problem.

It's like when a female politician screws up, this is reason to say that "it's no surprise when people won't vote for a woman next time!". When based on that logic, no man should have the right to run for political office ever again.

As you said: Every woman is a stand-in for the entirety of our sex. Men are individuals.

[–] Alecto 6 points (+6|-0)

Every woman is a stand-in for the entirety of our sex. Men are individuals.

Caveat: Every woman is a stand-in for the entirety of our sex when we behave poorly. Men are individuals when they behave poorly, unless they are exceptional in some way--then they are a stand-in for the entirety of their sex.

[–] immersang 4 points (+4|-0)

True! Very important correction actually, since men love taking credit for inventions other men did or things other men built.

[–] Laurel 9 points (+9|-0)

In my experience, men with a diagnosed mental illness expect the world to accommodate them. It's never their job to try to get better, and it's perfectly fine for such men to rage at and terrify us. Can't we see they're sick?

But a crying woman is ALWAYS trying to manipulate him. Always. She's a thing that is supposed to function to make him feel better; how dare she be broken? She's being mentally ill at him just for spite!

[–] shewolfoffrance 4 points (+4|-0)

It's never that he said or did something cruel. She's just trying to manipulate him into not screaming at her that she's a b*tch.

[–] [Deleted] 8 points (+8|-0)

men are incredibly cruel to mentally ill women.

something else that makes me angry is how the public narrative has shifted to thinking that mental illness is a men’s issue, or that mental illness is somehow worse in men. this just isn’t true. men are more likely to die by suicide, but women are more likely to attempt suicide. mental illness is just as severe in women as it is in men, and stigma isn’t somehow easier to deal with.

[–] Tokenmom 7 points (+7|-0)

I question if mental health really is as stigmatized for men as they claim. For as often as you go on Preddit (or anywhere else really) and see stories of men being abusive to their wives/girlfriends/etc. or never helping out around the house, there are a hundred armchair diagnoses of autism or adhd or something else excusing the behavior.

[–] levitation [OP] 1 points (+1|-0)

The reason that autism is harder to diagnose in girls is because parents, teachers, and peers are so much harder on neurodivergent female children than male. They're forced to learn to mask better, whereas boys use their diagnosis as an excuse to be racist, sexist, rude, etc.

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