Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual is able to cope with challenges, set goals, and fulfill their potential. It can be hard to reach your peak performance and stay there every day. However, research has shown that men are more at risk for developing common mental disorders than women. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), almost one in five adult men will experience some form of mental illness during their lifetime. It’s no surprise that the pressures of life can take its toll on anyone. However, as men we need to open up about our struggles instead of keeping them hidden inside. Let’s have a look at why...
What are the common mental health issues in men?
For men, anxiety, substance abuse, and depression are among the most common mental health issues. Anxiety is characterized by feelings of fear and apprehension, often in reaction to specific situations that may or may not be dangerous. Depression is a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest that can lead to a variety of physical and mental health issues. Substance abuse is a pattern of excessive use of alcohol or drugs that impacts one’s daily health and safety. Men are also at higher risk for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) than women.
Depression in men
Men are less likely than women to seek treatment for depression. A 2016 survey found that 9.5% of women had been diagnosed with major depression in the past year, compared with only 3.9% of men. Depression is an illness that affects people of all ages and backgrounds. However, it is most common in middle-aged and older adults, as well as in people who are very poor or very rich. Depression can also occur as a reaction to a significant life event, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, or moving. There are many different symptoms that are related to depression. People with this illness may sleep more than usual, eat more than usual, or have trouble sleeping and eating. They may feel sad most of the time and have no interest in activities that used to be enjoyable. They may have difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions. They may feel guilty, irritable, and have thoughts of suicide. People with depression may realize that something is wrong and want to get better. Some people with major depression also have a condition called bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), which can be treated but not cured.
Anxiety in men
Anxiety is a normal human emotion, but when it becomes excessive and uncontrollable, it can hinder productivity, performance, and relationships. Research has found that men are 2.5 times more likely to develop an anxiety disorder than women. Men are also less likely to seek treatment for their anxiety and more likely to be diagnosed with a substance-use disorder in conjunction with anxiety. Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, and unease that can be triggered by a variety of situations. It is a normal reaction to stressful situations. It’s what prepares us to respond to a threat, such as an upcoming exam, job interview, or first date. While everyone experiences anxiety from time to time, it can become a problem when it’s excessive and interferes with daily life. Anxiety disorders are more than just a few panic attacks or feeling a bit nervous from time to time. They’re medical conditions that can significantly affect your quality of life if left untreated.
Substance abuse in men
Substance abuse is the excessive use of a substance (such as alcohol, prescription drugs, or illegal drugs) that negatively impacts one’s health and safety. It can be hard to differentiate substance abuse from alcoholism, as alcoholism is a specific diagnosis that falls under the broader category of substance abuse. Men are twice as likely to develop alcohol abuse disorders than women. Drug use and addiction are on the rise in the United States, particularly among young men. As many as one-third of young adult men report drinking too much, using illicit drugs, or misusing prescription drugs. These rates have increased over the past decade, causing many to worry about the future of young men in the United States.
Strategies for coping with mental health issues
Getting professional help. It’s important to know when to reach out for help. If the stress and anxiety become too much, you could develop a mental health problem, such as depression or PTSD. You can find a therapist at a local medical center, university health clinic, or online. If you are struggling with mental health issues, it’s important to know that there are people who can help. Don’t try to “tough it out” or “deal with it on your own.” There is no shame in seeking help. No one expects you to do this alone.
Mental health is a pressing issue for men as well as women. It is important to seek help for symptoms of mental health issues, as they can significantly impact your life and your relationships with others. Reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness and there are many people who can help you cope with your struggles.