Both men and women can struggle with mental health issues and depression; however, it is common for men to find it difficult to express emotions and accept help. This is due to many factors, including a lack of knowledge of the importance of men’s mental health and an unwillingness to accept help. Men also typically shy away from discussing unwanted emotions with their families because they want to appear strong for their loved ones.
There is a stigma surrounding depression and other mental health issues that feed into shame and cause a lot of people to dismiss their emotions. Educating the public on the importance of mental health and men’s mental health in particular is vital to prevent this stigma and provide people with the resources needed. No one should have to struggle in silence.
Mental health issues are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain and other factors, such as genetics and trauma. It takes courage to speak on mental health, especially when it is a foreign topic to some people. No one likes to be vulnerable around strangers, and some find it difficult to be vulnerable around anyone at all.
Everyone should prioritize mental health to have a better quality of life and prevent further harm to others, including themselves. Untreated depression and other mental health issues can lead to a variety of dangerous outcomes, including suicide. While suicide tends to be the worse possible outcome, mental health issues can be harmful in many other ways. Everyone’s mental health is equally important; however, raising awareness of men’s mental health can change the way men perceive and handle their emotions.
Men’s Mental Health
According to the American Journal of Men’s Health, mental health disorders tend to be more prevalent in women. However, men are also less likely to receive mental health treatment than women. As a result, men are more likely to die from suicide than women. Being educated on mental health is vital for all human beings and recognizing the signs of a mental health disorder is the first step for treatment.
Some warning signs of poor mental health to look out for include:
- Aggression, irritation, or anger
- Changes in mood, energy level, or appetite
- Trouble staying asleep or sleeping too much
- Having trouble concentrating
- Feeling restless or tense
- Worry or tension levels rising
- Alcohol and/or drug abuse
- Depression or despair
- Suicidal ideas
- Lacking enthusiasm or having difficulty evoking pleasant feelings
- Taking part in risky activities
- Digestion issues, pains, and headaches without a known cause
- Compulsions or obsessive thoughts
- Thoughts or actions that disrupt family, career, or social life
- Unusual behaviors or thoughts that worry others
Men’s Mental Health Statistics
According to the American Journal of Men’s Health, although studies show that the prevalence of mental health disorders is typically lower in men, this is largely due to men’s unwillingness to seek help. This research shows that men die by suicide at a rate four times higher than women.
Further statistics show that men are also more likely to die from alcohol-related causes and are two to three times more likely to misuse drugs. This indicates that men dealing with mental health issues tend to turn to drugs and alcohol rather than seek professional help.
If you or someone you know is struggling emotionally or has concerns about their mental health, there are resources available. You can start by leaning on someone you trust, such as a family member or friend.
A Silent Killer
Mental health issues, such as depression in men, are known as silent killers due to the disproportional difference between men’s mental health issues and those who seek help. According to the American Journal of Men’s Health, the stigma surrounding mental health is an extreme barrier to those in need of mental health treatment.
Social stigma describes the negative views and judgment of an individual or group who is dealing with a mental health condition. It is based on the misconception that mental health symptoms are caused by a person’s decisions or character. People with mental health disorders may be subject to prejudice, avoidance, and rejection as a result of these misconceptions. Self-stigma comes from the shame caused by social stigma, which results in people keeping their struggles to themselves.
Culture, which involves a person’s values and personal beliefs, is also a factor that influences their willingness to seek mental health help. In some cultures, such as in the black and Hispanic communities, people with mental health issues are viewed as weak or broken. Some people ignorantly believe mental health disorders are made up. Such stigma creates barriers for people struggling with mental health issues. To overcome this stigma, it is important to educate individuals on the importance of mental health and the reality of mental health issues.
While both men and women can struggle with mental health issues, women are typically more likely to seek help. There is a disproportion between men who struggle with mental health issues and those who seek help. Studies show that while mental health disorders are more prevalent in women, men are more likely to die by suicide. The stigma surrounding mental health, including social, self, and cultural stigma, are the main factors that make men hesitant to acknowledge mental health issues and seek help. Educating individuals on the importance of mental health can help change the stigma surrounding mental health. Remaining silent threatens your life and overall health. For more information, call Spero Recovery Center at (303) 351-7888.