What Mental Health Issues Do Men Have?
Men’s mental health is a crucial, yet often neglected health concern. Even though women and men experience mental health difficulties, there are some differences between the challenges each gender faces. Even though women are more likely to experience mental health conditions and more likely to attempt suicide, men are more than 3.5 times more likely to die from suicide than women. Men`s mental health conditions mostly stem from traditional gender roles and societal expectations that make men think that they must be the breadwinners in the family, display traditional “masculine” traits, such as strength and control, not speak openly about their emotions, and rely on themself and not seek help from others. Men who hold on to these traditional beliefs are at risk of mental health challenges. Unfortunately, men are far less likely to seek treatment for issues related to substance abuse, depression, and stressful life events. A number of them would rather downplay their symptoms and succumb to the societal fallacy of “manning up”.
8 Risk Factors of Men`s Mental Conditions
Age and Race
Studies and reports have shown that white men aged 85 and older are most at risk of suicide. A number of men in this demographic die by suicide annually in the U.S.
Men who engage in drug and alcohol abuse are more likely to suffer mental health conditions.
Divorced and separated men are more likely to suffer depression and could be a trigger to suicide.
Legal or Financial Problems
When men encounter legal or financial difficulties, they tend to worry excessively, and this can trigger mental health problems and increase the risk of suicide.
History of Trauma
Traumatic events such as being a victim of an assault or engaging in combat increase the risk of experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Dealing with a high workload, as well as working in poor conditions can increase the risk of mental health issues. Unemployment and retirement particularly increase the risk of depression and suicide.
Family History of Mental Health Issues
There are families that have one or more psychiatric disorders in their history. People in such families are at risk of such conditions.
Other Life Challenges
There are some other risk factors for mental health problems and suicide such as physical illness, conflict with family or friends, and the sickness or demise of a friend or family member.
5 Common Mental Health Conditions that Men Have
Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders that people have, the world over. Even though it is almost twice as common among women as men, men are less likely to seek help.
Schizophrenia is a severe mental health condition that causes people to have a distorted interpretation of reality. So they experience hallucinations, delusions, and some other forms of disordered thinking. Schizophrenia has negative impacts on relationships and quality of life. Studies show that 90% of those who receive a schizophrenia diagnosis by age 30 are men.
Anxiety disorders are often characterized by excessive and uncontrollable feelings of worry and fear. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is one of the most common types of anxiety disorders and often co-occurs with depression. Although women are twice as likely to suffer GAD, men are less likely to seek any professional attention. Some other types of anxiety disorders are obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and social anxiety disorder which are equally common among men and women. Social anxiety disorder causes severe anxiety and fear in social situations, while OCD causes the continuous repetition of certain obsessions or a compulsive need to perform some routines repeatedly.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition that makes sufferers relive experiences of trauma, avoidance, and hyperarousal. Studies show that about 60% of men experience at least one trauma in their lifetime, while 50% of women do. Men are more likely to experience trauma from witnessing a death or injury, accidents, natural disasters, combat, and assaults. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to experience trauma from sexual assault or child sexual abuse. Men have a higher risk of experiencing traumatic events, while women are more likely to develop PTSD.
Research shows that more men use, and are dependent on illegal drugs and alcohol than women. Consequently, more men require an emergency and die from an overdose.
4 Treatment Options for Men`s Mental Health Conditions
Therapy is helpful in managing symptoms, changing negative thoughts, stopping destructive behaviors, as well as learn new coping skills. Finding the right therapy for men with mental conditions is vital to their recovery. Speaking with a professional would be helpful in achieving this.
There are drugs your doctor may prescribe to treat mental health conditions or symptoms. Some of these medications are antidepressants, sleep aids, antipsychotic drugs, and anti-anxiety medications. It is usually advisable to take these medications alongside psychotherapy.
There are positive lifestyle changes that can make significant contributions to mental well-being. Some of these changes entail eating a balanced diet, getting adequate sleep, regular exercise, yoga, and zero abuse of drugs and alcohol.
Support groups can be helpful in dealing with mental health conditions. Find one around you that you`re comfortable with, and join to get some succor. You may speak your therapist for assistance in choosing the best support group for you.
How Men Can Prevent Mental Health Conditions
- Communicate with family and friends, especially during stressful periods.
- Seek treatment immediately you observe symptoms of poor mental health.
- Practice positive lifestyle choices, such as getting adequate sleep, eating balanced meals, getting enough sleep, and exercising.
- Manage stress through meditation, mindfulness, or creativity.
- See a therapist if you have childhood trauma, low self-esteem, or other factors that could trigger mental health problems later in life.
- Continue with a maintenance treatment to prevent recurrences of depression or other mental health conditions.
How to Help Men who May Have Mental Health Issues
- Observe changes in their behavior and mood that may indicate the development of a mental health issue.
- Talk to them and ask how they feel, particularly if they just had a divorce, retirement, or bereavement.
- Encourage them to talk to their doctor or a therapist.
- Offer to search for suitable treatment providers, book an appointment for them, or attend the sessions with them.
- Call, text, and visit them regularly to find out how they are.
- Call 911 and wait with people who are suicidal until help arrives.
Now that you Know…
Men’s mental health issues, as you have seen, differs clearly from women’s in a number of ways. A major challenge with men, over time, is that they are reluctant to seek treatment for mental health issues, hence their vulnerability to worse challenges and consequent high rate of suicide. Mental health conditions usually require more than one-off treatments. Sufferers need to seek consistent treatment to ensure that there are significant changes in their mental health. They are also advised to seek support from health professionals and loved ones. With the right steps, they will gradually ease the symptoms, improve quality of life, and become totally fine again. Do you have men around you? Don`t wait till they show signs of mental health conditions before you ask about their wellbeing and care for them.