Are you feeling lost and uncertain about the way your life is going? Do you suffer from anxiety or depression? Do you wish you had someone to talk to but are afraid that asking for help isn’t “the manly thing to do?”
While traditionally men have not been the ones to seek out therapy, that doesn’t mean they haven’t had reason to. For example, according to a recent Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) survey, the number of men who seek treatment for mental health issues is significantly lower than the number of women with the same mental health concerns.
Why is this?
From a young age, men are taught rigid masculinity – that is to be strong and to keep their emotions in check. This often leads to many men feeling isolated, anxious and depressed. The very emotions they should seek help for, they stuff down and “go it alone.” Bearing their emotional pain seems a better idea than opening themselves up to the stigma of seeking therapy.
What are some of those most common mental health issues plaguing men?
- Substance abuse – Men are far more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs.
- Economic factors – Unemployment rates have skyrocketed, and many men sadly tie their worth or value into being the breadwinner.
- Bullying – Many young men are the victims of bullying.
- Relationship issues – Believe it or not, studies have shown that men rely more on their partners for emotional support than women do. This can make relationship problems particularly hard to deal with.
- Challenges related to fatherhood – While it can be a great source of joy, fatherhood can also cause stress and anxiety, particularly for new fathers.
There is no denying that mental health issues manifest differently in men than in women, resulting in many going completely ignored and untreated. Often men minimize or don’t recognize their own emotional pain. This results in them bottling up their emotions, which often leads to a manifestation of a physical disease or illness, such as high blood pressure or heart disease.
If you or someone you love is struggling with mental health issues and would like to explore treatment options, please reach out. There is no stigma in seeking help, only relief from the burdens you are currently carrying alone.