Every person has a role society expects them to fall into. Men are expected to be tough, both physically and emotionally. Struggling with mental health on its own is a challenge. Feeling less of a man because of it is even worse.
If you’re affected by men’s mental health, it’s important that you know you’re not alone. Moreover, a mental illness doesn’t imply weakness or failure. Men’s mental health issues are common— here’s what you need to know about them.
Common men’s mental health issues
The origins of mental health are far from easy to decipher, but what we do know tells us that men and women can both be affected by most disorders. The onset of mental health conditions is typically due to a variety of factors like genetics, stress, environmental factors and brain chemistry— factors that don’t discriminate based on sex.
While men and women are both impacted by mental illness, there are some differences in men’s mental health statistics. Here are the most common issues that affect men and the facts you need to know.
One of the most prevalent men’s mental health issues is the drastic rate of suicide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), men were four times more likely than women to die by suicide. Moreover, men are more likely to use violent means to complete suicide.
The CDC also reports that suicide is higher among veterans and there are other male-dominated occupations that have significant suicide rates like mining, construction, transportation and agriculture work.
The American Psychological Association further notes that men age 85 and older have the highest rate of suicide for any demographic. 51 out of every 100,000 white males completes suicide every year.
A study published in the journal Jama Psychiatry surveyed men and women to clarify whether rates of depression are actually higher among women, or whether the diagnostic language affects the data.
When men and women are surveyed to determine rates of depression among genders, conventional diagnostic language appears to cater to women. While most studies indicate that rates of depression are higher among women, a study in JAMA Psychiatry used alternate symptomology questions and found that men were more likely to struggle with depression than women.
The study states that 26 percent of men and 21 percent of women are affected by depression. Additionally, men reported anger attacks/aggression, substance use and risk taking more often than women.
There are also notable statistical differences in feelings of anxiety and depression when age, race and ethnicity were measured. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, Hispanic and black men were less likely to report daily feelings of anxiety compared to white men.
The reason for this difference is unknown, but it’s interesting to note that young white men who reported feelings of anxiety and depression were more likely to take medication than men of color.
Substance use disorders
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, men are more likely than women to use nearly all types of illegal drugs, and this drug use is more likely to result in hospitalization or overdose. The same is true for alcohol use.
Despite the quantity of men who use substances, women are more likely to develop a substance use disorder, likely due to the fact that women are more susceptible to relapse and cravings.
According to the American Addiction Centers men tend to use substances at an earlier age than women and require less of a substance to continue an addiction. Men’s mental health statistics also indicate that men experience more intense alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Seeking professional help
The American Journal of Men’s Health states that men are less likely to seek mental health treatment than women due to the stigma regarding intervention, and are more prone to seek violent, dangerous or unhealthy behaviors as a result.
If you’re unsure whether your men’s mental health issues warrant professional treatment, here are some key signs and symptoms to look out for:
- You feel increasing anger
- You start to distance yourself from loved ones
- You no longer want to participate in activities you previously enjoyed
- You struggle to complete daily tasks
- Your behavior becomes riskier
- You feel an uncontrollable urge to drink or use drugs
- You struggle to feel normal without substances
- You become aggressive
- You struggle to concentrate on important tasks
- You have trouble sitting still and feel restless
- You feel on-edge
- You use substances to handle your emotions
- You think about harming yourself or someone else
If any of these signs of men’s mental health issues have resonated with you, it’s important to get treatment. If you’ve thought about suicide, call for intevention immediately.
At Silvermist Recovery, you can find the judgment-free help you need. Compassionate professionals will cater treatment to your unique needs and situation so you can find healing and get your life back.
Don’t let mental illness hold you back, make the brave decision to get in touch now.