Stigma surrounding men’s physical, emotional and mental health prevents far too many men from seeking the support they need. Man up, suck it up, don’t be a pussy. Isn’t that a woman’s disease? Man, you sound like my wife! I’ve heard it all, and I’m grateful that I am in a spot in my life where I can laugh it off.

Were “supposed” to be stoic pillars of strength. Real men don’t cry. Well, this status quo has successfully created a societal image that men are sacrificing their lives, their quality of life, and overall health to live up to.

This stuff drives me nuts.

Suicide, cancer, depression, anxiety . . . all manner of mental and physical health problems progressing so much farther than necessary, all because of the shame associated with men appearing weak in the eyes of a warped societal standard.

Men are literally choosing to end their lives rather than seek the help they need. This needs to change.

Stand up for yourselves. There is no weakness in seeking support and direction.

Want to know what I think is a good way to man up? Take care of yourself. Love yourself enough to speak up and ask for help so you can be there to support and love your own family and those who matter to you. Life isn’t a single-player game.

Originally published on the author’s Instagram page

For more information on men’s health issues like prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention, visit Movember.com 

Joe Hinksman

Joe Hinksman, also known as @you.look.fine.to.me on Instagram, resides on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Navigating his way through his new diagnosis of IBD (Crohn's disease) in 2016, Joe uses his passion for writing to practice gratitude, accountability and advocacy for chronic illness, and associated mental health challenges. By engaging with social media communities, and sharing his story, Joe aspires to instill hope that even when the sky seems to be falling, there's so much to be grateful for.