Over the years there has been a significant rise in the number of people suffering from depression in Pakistan. In the Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association, a 2021 study stated that the mean prevalence of anxiety and disorder ‘was 33.62%. Out of these, 29-66% of women and 10-33% of men experienced depressive symptoms’. Additional research also suggests that globally men seek mental health help far less than women due to fear of being stigmatized and their insistence to stick to gender norms and hegemonic ideals of masculinity. Thus, men are at four times higher risk of dying from suicide than women who suffer from depression.
The state of affairs in Pakistan is no different; men are taught to bottle up their emotions from a young age to fit in their role of protector and provider. Those who don’t adhere to these gender norms are often ostracized and ridiculed. It’s no surprise that we’ve cultivated a culture of ignorance where many suffer in silence and its effects snowball into the public sphere where many are also affected by it – so begins a systemic chain reaction with seemingly no way out.
Depression & How Khalid Malik Intends To Help Men Regulate Their Emotions
While the situation seems dreary, many men like RJ-turned-actor Khalid Malik are shedding light on these issues plaguing numerous men in Pakistan. In a recent interview with Taskeen, Khalid Malik opened up about battling depression and realising the importance of a support system. In the interview, he talks about the challenges he’s faced in his journey and how it has helped him become a better version of himself.
Though it seemed there was no light at the end of the tunnel, Khalid Malik persevered and decided to put himself first. That simple change in perception helped him in his progress. However, he realised that there’s still some stigma attached to men who seek help and verbalize their emotions.
This realisation led to Khalid Malik’s ‘Be Alive’ and ‘The Awakening- Man’s Code Podcast’ initiatives where he often discusses topics surrounding men’s mental health, and spirituality and mentors them on ways they can awaken their healthy masculinity.
Moreover, Khalid Malik firmly believes that suppressing emotions eventually leads to men becoming self-destructive or destructive altogether. In an interview with Express Tribune in 2020, he stated, ‘I want to shift the thought flow of men from worry, angst and fear to an optimal, managerial state. My training will release their dysfunctional habits, making them better aware of themselves’.
Listen To Khalid Malik Open Up About His Struggles Here
If you or anyone you know needs support, you can contact Taskeen’s free-of-cost helpline:
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