Men's Mental Health - Stigma, Treatment & More
What is Men's Mental Health?
According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, as many as 1 in 10 men experience mental illnesses such as anxiety or major depression. However, not even half of them seek the treatment they need.
Similarly, more than 6 million men struggle with depression, but most cases go undiagnosed. Why is this so? Although mental illnesses can manifest differently in men and women, men face different challenges with regard to mental health. Here’s a detailed look at men’s mental health, the stigma surrounding it, and current treatment options.
Mental health plays an equally important role in everyone’s lives. However, factors such as gender can influence which aspects of one’s life have a greater effect on their mental well-being. It’s common for men to experience certain issues that contribute greatly to poor mental health. These experiences can range from physical health concerns and relationship problems to loss of employment and birth of a child. Such events can lead to the development of different mental disorders and symptoms, so experts must consider them when devising treatment plans.
Mental Health Treatment for Men
The type of mental health treatment prescribed depends on your symptoms, but some of the most common options include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Holistic Therapy
- Trauma-Informed Therapy
- Solution-Focused Therapy
- Individual Psychotherapy
- Psychiatric Care
What's the Stigma for Men?
Because men are less likely to seek professional treatment for mental health concerns, their symptoms go untreated. Experts agree that stigma is a barrier that can prevent you from getting the support and care you need.
In theory, talking about your mental health should be the same as discussing your physical health. However, men face different types of stigma that keep them from seeking support.
- Social stigma includes negative stereotypes or attitudes that are projected toward people with mental illness. For instance, thinking that people who have depression are just weak.
- Cultural stigma refers to how your culture views mental illness. If the culture has a negative perception of mental illness and certain societal expectations of masculinity, you’re less likely to seek therapy.
There’s also self-stigma, which is aimed internally at yourself. Men tend to adopt harmful attitudes toward mental illness, which can cause feelings of guilt or even shame regarding one’s poor mental health.
What Factors Can Lead to Male Mental Health Issues?
Mental health professionals find that the following aspects are common risk factors for poor mental health in men.
In some situations, you may face a combination of different stressors that exacerbate your symptoms. It’s why seeking trauma-informed care that considers your experiences is so crucial for long-term recovery.
What are the Benefits of Seeking Treatment?
Some of the benefits of seeking professional treatment include:
- Better Communication
- Improved Coping Skills
- Increased Emotional Regulation
- Enhanced Problem-Solving Abilities
Fighting the Male Mental Health Stigma and Seeking Treatment
Breaking the stigma can encourage you to seek professional help. Here’s how you can do your part:
- Openly communicate about your mental health (remember, the change starts with you)
- Challenge harmful beliefs that tell men to ‘man up’
- Encourage the men around you to share their difficulties
The smallest changes in how we behave as individuals can make a world of difference to the men who suffer in silence. By increasing awareness and gaining the courage to talk about mental health challenges, we empower others to seek treatment.
How Mental Health Disorders Affect Men
Mental health disorders affect men and women differently. Here are a few examples:
Men and PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder impacts both men and women, but the type of trauma faced can vary. Statistics show that a large proportion of men experience some traumatic event during their lifetime, such as:
- an accident
- active combat in a warzone
- natural disasters
Men's Mental Health Awareness Can Improve Outcomes
Children can offer support by being involved in your wellness routine. They can remind you to take medication, take care of chores around the house, and look after their younger siblings.
Spouses and partners can provide emotional support for those with mental illnesses like generalized anxiety disorder. Being an active listener or driving you to support groups and therapy sessions is a significant way to show support.
Parents can also offer support when you’re recovering from a mental health condition. Embracing a non-judgmental attitude and treating your condition like a physical illness can make a big difference.
Men's Mental Health FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions about men's mental health.
The signs can differ based on the mental illness you’re struggling with. Common signs include irritability, change in mood, difficulties in sleeping, feelings of worry, and increased substance use. You may start sleeping too much or get very little sleep. Similarly, you may eat too much or too little and experience changes in energy levels.
According to the American Psychological Association, 50 percent of patients take between 15 to 20 weekly sessions before they start responding to treatment. Most inpatient treatment centers prepare a month-long plan and make changes every few weeks, depending on your progress. Ultimately, it depends on the mental condition, support factors, and how regularly you get therapy.
Mental health inpatient treatment can cost upwards of $30,000 at a reputable facility with evidence-based treatments and suitable amenities. Various factors can impact the total cost, such as whether you require medication, the location of the facility, and the availability of amenities.
If you’re struggling with a mental illness or certain symptoms, the first step is to schedule an assessment with a mental health expert. If you know someone who’s struggling with mental illness, the first step is to offer emotional support before suggesting options to see a professional.
Some of the most common causes include relationship problems, traumatic events, and unemployment. In other situations, a major life change such as divorce, the birth of a child, or moving to a different city can trigger symptoms. A history of mental illness can also make you vulnerable to developing a condition.
Let us guide you towards healing
We know that seeking treatment can be overwhelming, but our staff is here to make the process as smooth as possible. We’re available 24/7 to address any questions or concerns you may have.