Why is Men’s Mental Health Overlooked

Why is Men’s Mental Health Overlooked

Mental health is an important aspect of total well-being, yet it is often overlooked, particularly among men. Men are typically prevented from expressing their emotions and seeking treatment for mental health difficulties and to what men feel due to cultural expectations and engrained gender standards. 

This can result in a cycle of silence and pain, with men internalizing their problems and postponing or avoiding therapy.

Know Why is Men’s Mental Health Overlooked

The social environment frequently supports a narrative in which males are expected to exemplify strength, perseverance, and emotional stoicism. This cultural expectation, combined with established gender standards, adds to men’s mental health being overlooked. 

The stigma associated with vulnerability and seeking treatment is a significant barrier that prevents many men from discussing their mental health difficulties openly.

Stigma and Men’s Mental Health

Stigma and Men's Mental Health

Public Stigma

Men’s mental health stigma can be worsened by public perception and cultural views. The fear of being judged and the perception of weakness connected with mental health issues may discourage men from getting treatment.

Institutional Stigma

Stigmatization can appear inside institutions such as workplaces or educational settings due to inadequate support networks or a lack of mental health services targeted to men’s unique needs. This might include cultural sensitivity training and awareness of the special issues that men confront.

Self-Stigma

Men may acquire self-stigma as a result of internalizing cultural norms, considering their mental health difficulties as personal failings. This self-perception may limit their desire to recognize and handle their mental health.

Symptoms of Mental Health Concerns in Men

While men and women suffer the same variety of mental health issues, their symptoms typically manifest differently. Men who have mental health issues may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Irritation or rage
  • Social isolation
  • Changes in sleeping or eating habits
  • Difficulties focusing or making judgments
  • Increased alcohol or drug usage
  • Reckless or impulsive behavior
  • Self-harming or suicidal thoughts

Common Mental Health Problems in Men

Common Mental Health Problems in Men

The following are some of the most common mental health issues among men:

Depression

Depression is characterized by a persistent low mood that interferes with daily functioning and is one of the most common mental health conditions worldwide. 

Depression is nearly twice as common in men as in women, but men are far less likely than women to seek treatment for it. Men may experience depression differently, frequently exhibiting symptoms such as anger, irritability, and physical complaints.

Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are defined by overwhelming and uncontrolled sensations of dread and concern.

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), the most prevalent kind, frequently co-occurs with depression. Despite the fact that women are twice as likely as men to suffer from GAD, males are less likely to seek therapy.

Other anxiety disorders, such as social anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), affect both men and women equally.

Social anxiety disorder generates severe anxiety and terror in social situations, whereas OCD causes obsessive thoughts or a compulsive desire to follow particular routines repeatedly (compulsions).

Men may be more likely than women to exhibit physical signs of depression and anxiety, such as headaches or muscular strain.

Substance Abuse

To deal with emotional turmoil, some men may abuse alcohol or narcotics.

Men use or are dependent on illicit substances and alcohol at greater rates than women across most age categories. They are also more likely to require an emergency room visit and to die as a result of an overdose.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that 68,000 males die each year from alcohol-related causes, compared to 27,000 women

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

A disorder that occurs after a stressful experience and is marked by flashbacks, nightmares, and hypervigilance.

According to research, around 60% of men and 50% of women will encounter at least one traumatic event in their lifetime. Men are more likely than women to encounter the following types of trauma:

  • assaults
  • accidents
  • natural calamities
  • seeing a death or injury

Treatment

Treatment

Therapeutic Interventions

Participating in psychotherapy or counseling sessions gives a secure area for men to examine and address their mental health difficulties. Therapists use a variety of therapy techniques to assist clients in understanding and managing their emotions.

Medication

Mental health disorders may necessitate medication in some situations. Healthcare providers can give antidepressants, anti-anxiety medicines, or mood stabilizers to ease symptoms. Individuals must meet with a psychiatrist to identify the best drug for their specific requirements.

Lifestyle Changes

Positive lifestyle adjustments, such as regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep, can have a major influence on mental well-being. Exercise, in particular, has been demonstrated to improve mood and general mental health.

Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques

Meditation, deep breathing techniques, and mindfulness can all assist with stress management and emotional well-being. Individuals can use these approaches to negotiate difficult emotions and create calm.

Support Groups

Participating in support groups, whether in person or online, encourages men to connect with others going through similar things. Sharing tales, coping tactics, and encouragement in a friendly community might be good.

Prevention

Mental health awareness and stigma reduction are critical measures in avoiding mental health disorders in males. This may be accomplished by:

Campaigns for Education and Awareness: Dispelling myths and misconceptions about mental health and promoting open discussions about emotional well-being.

Creating Supportive Environments: Creating a culture of empathy, understanding, and support for males with mental health issues.

Encourage Men to Seek Treatment: Promoting the use of mental health services and encouraging men to seek treatment when required.

What Can I Do To Help?

What Can I Do To Help?

You may improve men’s mental health in a variety of ways:

Encourage Open Discussions: Create an environment in which men may share their mental health without fear of being judged.

Raise Awareness: To raise awareness and counter prejudices, disseminate knowledge regarding men’s mental health.

Be encouraging: Offer assistance to friends, relatives, or coworkers who are dealing with mental health issues. Encourage people to seek professional help when they need it

Conclusion

Mental illness is a complicated issue that is firmly embedded in society’s standards and expectations. It is our common obligation to break down stigma barriers within ourselves and in our communities. 

By removing the barriers that lead to men’s struggle with mental health, we open the path for a more compassionate and inclusive approach to mental health for all. Seek help to mental health professional and United State’s Statistics on Men affected by depression.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to read this article Are Women’s Vitamins Safe for Men?

*This information is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional medical or dietary advice tailored to individual needs.

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Dr. Kimberly Langdon

Kimberly Langdon

Dr. Kimberly Langdon has been an MD for 31 years, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine, earning Honors in many rotations. She then completed her OB/GYN residency program at The Ohio State University Medical Center, earning first-place accolades for her Senior Research Project and Score of 98th percentile on a National Proficiency Test.

During her clinical career, she delivered over 2000 babies and specialized in minimally invasive procedures, menopause, endometriosis, menstrual disorders, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. After retiring from clinical practice, she founded a medical device company to commercialize her two patented and four patent-pending medical devices for both life-threatening and non-life-threatening infections.

Kimberly Langdon M.D.

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Coologics, 2010-present
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimberly-langdon-m-d-41847610/
The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Doctor of Medicine 1987-1991
The Ohio State University Hospital Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program 1991-1995
Private practice 1995-2010

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu, M.D., received his medical doctorate from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. During his medical school training, Dr. Hsu worked with various patients, including adult and pediatric patients with acute and chronic conditions. Dr. Hsu’s interests include neurology, psychiatry, pediatrics, and sleep medicine.

Before medical school, Dr. Hsu finished a master’s degree at Harvard University and wrote a thesis on neuroimaging in schizophrenia patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospital. Dr. Hsu was also a part of the 2008 NASA Phoenix Lander Mission team, which sent a robotic spacecraft to the North polar region of Mars. Dr. Hsu also had research experience on neuroimaging in neonates at Boston Children’s Hospital, another Harvard Medical School-affiliated Hospital.

Since graduating from medical school, Dr. Hsu has worked as a full-time medical writer and consultant. In addition, he has experience writing and ghostwriting books and articles for physicians and health technology start-up companies. Dr. Hsu believes good communication between healthcare providers and patients creates the best results.

Publications

-Peer Reviewed Journal Article:
Kounaves, S.P., Hecht, M.H., West, S.J., Morookian, J.-M., Young, S.M.M., Quinn, R., Grunthaner, P., Wen, X., Weilert, M., Cable, C.A., Fisher, A., Gospodinova, K., Kapit, J., Stroble, S., Hsu, P.-C., Clark, B.C., Ming, D.W. and Smith, P.H. The MECA wet chemistry laboratory on the 2007 phoenix mars scout Lander. Journal of Geophysical Research. 2009, Mar; 114(E3): 10.1029/2008je003084.

-Poster Presentation:
2011 Harvard Psychiatry Mysell Poster Session; Boston, MA
Hsu, P.C., Rathi, Y., Eckbo, R., Nestor, P., Niznikiewicz, M., Thompson, E., Kubicki, M., Shenton, M.E. (March, 2011). Two-Tensor Diffusion Tensor Imaging of Acoustic Radiations in Schizophrenia

Dr. Nicolette Natale

Nicolette Natale

Dr. Nicolette Natale is a physician, with a background in Psychology, General Medicine, and English Literature, combining her expertise to provide readers with the most accurate, easy-to-understand, and comprehensive information regarding healthcare. She received her Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from Nova Southeastern University, and her bachelor’s in English Literature and Psychology from the University of Miami. Dr. Natale seeks to empower individuals with knowledge, fostering a greater understanding of holistic health and encouraging a proactive approach to well-being