I think it has to be societal conditioning. And it affects physical as well as mental health. Men are less likely to consult doctors about any condition. This is clearly detrimental to them, and perhaps less polarisation of the sexes would be a move towards a healthier society.
Far too often I've heard people talking to young boys and saying stuff like, "boys don't cry" or "don't act like such a girl". It seems to be seen as weak to talk about feelings. Plus I guess it makes them appear vulnerable, which women are expected to be and men daren't be.
Anger is an emotion and it does not discriminate between the genders. The fact that we, as adults, make a choice about how we express our anger means that we are responsible for whatever choice we have made. If we make impulsive choices, as is frequently the case when we are angry, we may live to regret the choice we have made. But fear not, with a little help in the management of our anger we can train ourselves to make better choices.
I beleive this is partly to do with the traditional gender roles. It seems to me men were encouraged to repress emotions because they were not usefull in the workplace and likely to the detriment of the armed forces performance (thats how the thinking went, not mine!). Now when you are then put into the privelige of being a male within this society I guess that would more than make up for repressed emotion. The status, sense of worth, freedom and all the other things that a male in older society would have received (as an average acrosss the population of course) means that having all these repressed emotions isn't as important to the happiness of the individual.
Nowadays young men are growing up in different world. The culture of thinking that goes "expressing emotion is feminine" is only slowly going away, though it does seem to be going away (though it is still very prevalent among the working class). Even though they do not have the all the old perks they are still pressured by parts of society to feel the responsibility of those roles. For an example of this I could point you to almost every list made about what it is that makes a man (or a good man).
Now women probably have more responsibilities etc than men in modern society but the fact they are able to open up and share these emotions with others has a releasing effect. In men the pressure can build up and can cause all sorts of bad outcomes.
There are many more causes that go into this disparity between the genders, I apould be curious to hear other peopls ideas.
I am glad that this question is in this section, I have also come to the conclusion that mens mental health is a feminist issue.
I know a couple who are the loveliest of people but under a severe amount of long-term, ongoing stress, to whit money troubles and a severely disabled & challenging child.
Whereas the mother speaks freely to me about her problems and vice~versa, her husband doesn't/can't/wont do this with his friends or indeed with her, his wife. I know she is extremely worried about his mental state.
Also my son, in his early 20's has a great deal of emotional issues but wont hear of going to see the doctor or other professional, in his words "talking about feelings is gay" yet he is happy to listen to me when I talk about emotional issues & contribute. My other son is very forth-coming in talking about feelings and emotional issues.
Both boys had completely different peer groups growing up, eldest son ran with the sporty, rugby playing set whereas younger son ran with the arty/punky/a bit different set. I don't know if this has anything to do with it?
i have recently been thinking about why men find it hard to talk about the emotions and feelings and the cost to there life's like suicide and other unhealthy behavior . I have been mental ill my self and i know how important it is to be able to talk about deep issues. I as a man felt and feel uncomfortable talking about my feelings and asking for help. I joke with my girlfriend that i cry john Wayne tears. I have seen a lot of my male friends kill them self's. i think if they could have talked and got some sort of help they would be here. i understand both sexes face tough issues on different fronts. I am just wondering if you had any thoughts or experiences why men find it hard to open up and what can be done. I am hoping to raise awareness on this issue and am asking here to get a balanced and wide view of things.