Men experience mental health circumstances that are unique to their female counterparts. Therapy and mental health experts are resources for men who experience mental illnesses or general-life issues that help them cope and receive support. However, men are statistically less likely to request help when they’re struggling, and as such, have higher rates of suicide.
What You Need to Know About Men’s Mental Health
Mental health issues in men are common. For men, every 1 in 10 experience a mental health issue, but unfortunately, less than half seek support from a professional or support group. Suicide rates in men have statistically been on the rise. In 2021, men made up 80% of suicides that occurred in the U.S.
Men experience barriers to care, and typically find it more difficult than women to build social connections and unlike women of a similar age, fewer older men have networks of friends and rarely share personal concerns about health and other personal worries. These dynamics impact the development of healthy social groups, making it difficult to receive any support from family and friends, while experiencing a mental-health crisis. Being “alone” and feeling isolated greatly impact how men cope with mental health symptoms and stress. stress.
Men can experience symptoms of mental health issues, like depression or anxiety, that seem less significant, which can lead to underdiagnosis or a misdiagnosis. For example, men may feel irritable or angry if they’re struggling with depression, and they may not realize they are feeling depressed. It’s even more common for men who are African American, Black, Indigenous, People of Color to go underdiagnosed and misdiagnosed compared to Caucasian men. African Americans, in general, experience higher rates of mental health conditions and receive less than half of the care than white people.
Mental Health, Men & Masculinity
Gender norms and stereotypes can prevent men from accessing the resources they need to feel better. Men may feel that to be “strong” or “masculine” they cannot reveal their emotions of sadness, depression, or suicidal ideations. Society’s pressure to be masculine can prevent men from expressing their true feelings to their family and friends, requesting help from a professional, or acknowledging that they are struggling. Lack of emotional intelligence can also be a result of social pressures of masculinity.
African American and Black men experience an additional layer of lack of access to mental health care. Black men are shown to have higher rates of mental illness and due to racial disparities, expense of care, access to health insurance, etc. are unable to see a therapist or a psychiatric provider. The National Association for Mental Illness notes “Resources can be difficult to obtain when people don’t have health insurance, have demanding shift jobs, live in locations with few services, or don’t have reliable transportation. Stigma and misinformation about mental illness can also deter people from seeking treatment.”
Social norms when it comes to “Black masculinity” also impact Black men when they consider seeking support Traditional masculinity roles and widely accepted norms may leave Black men feeling like they shouldn’t ask for help if they’re struggling. American author and scholar, Bell Hooks, examines this in the book We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity noting that Black men do need support, but traditional ideals of what Black men should be create negative outcomes. The pressure to be a masculine Black man exacerbates psychological and emotional issues, like depression, anxiety, PTSD, or Bipolar Disorder, and prevent Black men from seeking treatment.
Signs & Symptoms
Men may exhibit or experience different mental health symptoms than women, leading to underdiagnosis or misdiagnosis. The National Institute for Mental Health shares that men who are experiencing depression may seem angry or aggressive, rather than sad. Because men experience different symptoms of depression, men are less likely to be able to identify the depression and then ask for help. Other symptoms of depression for men may include the following:
In general, men may have different symptoms of any mental health condition than what are considered “common” or “textbook.” This can include:
- Changes in mood or behavior
- Difficulty sleeping or insomnia.
- Quickness to Aggression
- Short Temper, Easier to Irritate
- Reduced ability to concentrate.
- Easier confusion
- Extreme mood changes
- Suicidal Thoughts
- Changes in eating habits
Support for Men is Available
At Elite DNA Behavioral Health, we can support men who are experiencing symptoms of mental illness or just need support to cope with stress or family issues. We encourage men to talk about their feelings and concerns with their partner, family and friends. Resources and treatment are available. Talk therapy, Trauma therapy Family therapy, couples counseling psychiatry and medication management can be beneficial when treating men with depression anxiety PTSD and other mental health conditions. We also offer a safe space for mental health care for individuals who identify as LGBTQ+. These services are available via telehealth throughout Florida or in-person at one of our many offices.
By continuing to talk about men’s mental health, we can break the stigma against men’s mental health issues, allowing men to receive the care and support that they deserve.
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website is for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
If you or your loved one are having suicidal ideations and are in danger, please call the emergency hotline, 988, or 911 on your phone or mobile device.