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  • Writer's pictureDamilola Agubata

International Men’s Day: How Men Sink Heavily in Debts and Suffer Poor Mental Health

Money is an integral aspect of life. You are reading this article on a device—a phone, tab or a laptop—and you either bought it or it was bought for you with money. You’ve probably had breakfast today: it cost you money to get it. Without money, you can barely survive a day in this world.

In present-day Nigeria, many young men in their 20s suffer financial anxiety which has been described as a situation wherein you are constantly worried about the state of your finances and the possibility of going broke or penniless over an unexpected event.

While women also experience financial anxiety, men are known to suffer from this condition more. It’s, therefore, unsurprising that men gamble a lot more than women do on average, with over 78% of active online betting accounts owned and managed by men.

And that’s not all: the online betting sector derives an estimated 94% of its revenue from men. Men are also known to fall into problem gambling (an unrestrained addiction to gambling that disrupts the normal lifestyle of an individual) at a higher rate than women. This is a huge problem necessitating concern.

International Men's Day: How Men Sink Heavily in Debts, Suffer Poor Mental Health. Credit: Oak Pensions Limited
International Men's Day: How Men Sink Heavily in Debts, Suffer Poor Mental Health. Credit: Oak Pensions Limited

For a man to continuously suffer from financial anxiety, several factors come to play. These factors include growing up poor and deprived, insufficient or unstable earnings, and debt.

Let’s look at these factors one after the other, shall we?

Growing up poor and deprived

Children raised in inadequacy are predisposed to developing financial anxiety. They grow up having to witness their parents fight over basic amenities and suffer embarrassment from neighbours and members of the community over non-compliance with financial obligations.

It has been said that boys raised in such homes tend to grow into men who struggle with breaking free from problem gambling unlike their counterparts raised in homes where lack is nonexistent.

Insufficient or inconsistent earnings

When men make barely enough money to get by, it becomes a problem that can lead to financial anxiety. When their earnings are unstable, they are constantly in a state of worry and uncertainty about their finances.


Falling into debt does not happen by chance. It is a cumulative effect of unstable and insufficient income. When a man’s earnings do not match his spending, accumulating debt is inevitable. A number of other elements can push a man to incur more debts.

First is the desire to maintain a perceived lifestyle that seems proper for a man. Masculinity in many societies is—notwithstanding the fact that female emancipation has enabled women equal (as the gender pay gap remains concerning) the earnings of men—measured by wealth or the perception of affluence.

On this account, men incur debts in a bid to appear masculine enough to command general respect in society and the attention of the opposite sex.

The role of traditional masculinity in driving men further into debt

Traditional gender roles drive men to take on the role of financial providers even if they are ill-equipped to cope with such responsibility. At the end of this spectrum are accumulated debts hanging on their necks.

The average man desires respect and admiration from members of the opposite sex. To attain this goal, he goes on a wanton display of wealth whether or not he lacks the wherewithal to do so. Attaining affluence is the bane of his life and he will incur as many debts as possible if that will preserve his status in society.

What do the mental stats say?

Accurate mental health statistics are hard to come by, considering that the majority of cases go unreported and undiagnosed. There is also the cultural disposition towards mental health that makes a lot of men choose to die in silence rather than confide in a professional or their loved ones about their mental state.

However, for the purpose of documentation, it has been reported that men suffer lower levels of life satisfaction than women. Men are also three times more likely to kill themselves than women.

What does this mean?

Inevitably, the desire to keep up with traditional gender roles throws men into a state of constant financial anxiety, debt and suicide. Many men believe that their worth lies in their ability to provide for their immediate and extended family with enough left to throw around for leisure and entertainment. And they measure their own worth by this standard. This takes a toll on their mental health, leaving them depressed and suicidal.

The solution

With gender roles remaining rife in our society, the solution to men incurring debts and suffering poor mental health can be found in the diversification of income through having a stable and secure pension plan.

Every time you get paid, you can set aside a fixed amount of money to be deposited into your pension account. This pension account is similar to a regular savings account with the only difference being that it is a retirement savings account that has only one goal: to protect you from financial struggles in your latter years.

You’ve struggled to uphold your masculinity as a man. Now you deserve the comfort of having a pension plan that cares for you even in your old age.

Call the Oak Pensions Marketing Manager on 09087448661 or send an email to to register a pension/Retirement Savings Account today.

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