Understanding Men’s Mental Health

April 9, 2024

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Mental health disorders impact both men and women, although the prevalence of certain disorders varies by gender. While some mental health disorders are less frequently diagnosed in men than in women, conditions like ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) show similar or even higher diagnosis rates among men. Additionally, men have a higher likelihood of dying by suicide.

Symptoms of mental health issues can manifest differently in men than in women, influenced by both biological and psychosocial factors. The progression and experience of mental health conditions can also differ based on gender. Current research is exploring these distinctions to increase men’s mental health awareness.

While men are less likely to seek professional help for mental health issues than women, early intervention streamlines treatment. Read on to learn more about men and mental health. You can also find out how to connect with compassionate and effective care.

Types of Mental Health Disorders Common for Men

Common mental health disorders in men include:

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  • Anxiety disorders
  • Major depressive disorders
  • Substance use disorders
  • Bipolar disorders
  • PTSD

Anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorders rank highly among the mental health challenges faced by men, with various types affecting this demographic, including:

  • Panic disorder
  • OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder)
  • GAD (generalized anxiety disorder)
  • Social anxiety
  • Phobias

Despite women being more likely to encounter GAD and panic disorders, the prevalence of social anxiety and OCD is relatively equal across genders. Beyond this, anxiety in men often correlates with an increased diagnosis of substance use disorder and ADHD.

Major depressive disorders

Depression (major depressive disorder) is a major mental health concern for men, with CDC findings showing that roughly 5% of young adult males experience depression – half the rate observed in women of the same age. Male depression might be less frequently diagnosed than in women, though, partly because the symptoms can diverge from those typically associated with major depressive disorder.

Additionally, although men are less likely to be diagnosed with depression or attempt suicide than women, they are three times more likely to die by suicide, This higher mortality rate is attributed to men choosing more lethal means like firearms and young adult men being especially vulnerable due to higher suicide attempt rates in this age group.

Substance use disorders

Young men are more inclined to abuse drugs, including marijuana, hallucinogens, and prescription painkillers than women. Men also have a higher propensity for binge drinking and suffer more alcohol-related deaths and hospitalizations. Social norms which view such behaviors as masculine may contribute to the under-recognition of these issues as symptoms of mental health disorders.

Bipolar disorders

Bipolar disorder, characterized by significant mood swings, typically begins in men between ages 15 and 24. While it affects about 2.6% of the U.S. population, it is not as common as other male mental health issues. Nevertheless, 83% of bipolar disorders are deemed severe, according to NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness). Symptoms, which can mimic typical young male behaviors like overconfidence or irritability, make bipolar disorder challenging to diagnose in men.

PTSD

PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is a prevalent mental health issue not limited to military veterans. Around 60% of men experience at least one traumatic event in their lifetime, with causes ranging from accidents and assault to combat experiences. Men might face underdiagnosis of PTSD due to societal expectations to remain stoic, further complicating the recognition and treatment of this and other mental health disorders.

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Getting Treatment for Men’s Mental Health Issues

Addressing men’s mental health issues requires overcoming social stigma and encouraging open dialogue about mental well-being. For men seeking treatment, there are several pathways to consider.

  • Professional help: The first step for many men is consulting with a healthcare provider who can offer an initial assessment and referral to mental health specialists. Psychiatrists, psychologists, and licensed therapists are equipped to diagnose and treat different mental health disorders with tailored approaches.
  • Therapy and counseling: Various forms of therapy, including CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and counseling, provide effective treatment options. These methods can help men understand and manage their conditions, offering strategies to cope with symptoms, resolve underlying issues, and improve overall mental health.
  • Medications: In some cases, medications may be recommended as part of the treatment plan, especially for disorders like depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. Antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and other medications can be prescribed by healthcare professionals to help balance chemical imbalances and alleviate symptoms.
  • Support groups: Joining a support group where men can share their experiences and challenges with mental health can be incredibly beneficial. These groups offer a sense of community and understanding, making people feel less isolated in their struggles.
  • Lifestyle changes: Incorporating healthy lifestyle choices, such as regular physical activity, a balanced diet, adequate sleep, and stress reduction techniques, can significantly impact mental health. Such changes can complement medical treatments and contribute to overall well-being.
  • Online resources and apps: With the advancement of technology, there are numerous online resources, apps, and teletherapy services which provide accessible mental health support and information. These tools can be particularly useful for men who may prefer to start their mental health journey in private.

The Importance of Awareness for Men’s Mental Health

Deep-rooted stigmas and societal norms often prevent men from acknowledging their struggles and accessing the support they need. By promoting open conversations about mental health, we can dismantle barriers, encourage early intervention, and ultimately save lives.

Awareness initiatives also play an important role in educating both men and their communities about the signs and symptoms of mental health issues, illustrating the importance of professional help and the availability of treatment options. Through increased understanding and compassion, men can be encouraged to take proactive steps toward their mental health, leading to healthier, happier lives for themselves and their loved ones.

Ultimately, enhancing awareness about men’s mental health issues contributes to a culture of acceptance and support, ensuring that every man feels empowered to seek help when needed. Together, we can create a future where mental health is openly discussed, and comprehensive care is accessible to all.

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Get Men’s Mental Health Treatment at Connections

Whether you have been having bad mental health days or you have a diagnosable mental health condition, we can help you recalibrate your life at Connections in Southern California.

When you choose to begin inpatient treatment at our luxury beachside facility, you’ll join a small number of peers tackling similar issues. This provides you with plenty of peer support without compromising face-to-face attention.

All mental health treatment programs at Connections blend pharmacological, holistic, and behavioral interventions to help you restore functioning and improve overall well-being.

Call 844-759-0999 today and start addressing mental health issues right away.

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