Mental health is often viewed as a women’s issue. Women are more likely to seek help for mental health problems and are more likely to be diagnosed with depression and anxiety. However, men also suffer from mental health issues at higher rates than women.
Did you know that one in eight men will experience depression and one in five men will experience anxiety in their lifetime? Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45 and men are three times more likely to die by suicide than women. Despite these statistics, mental health is still seen as a taboo subject for men. This needs to change and men need to feel like they can talk about their mental health without stigma or judgment.
Why are men hesitant to ask for help? It could be a number of reasons but most likely it's the stigma around mental health, the pressure to be ‘strong’ and ‘tough’, or the belief that men should be able to cope with problems on their own. As a result, men are less likely to seek help for mental health problems.
What causes mental health issues in men?
While the exact causes are still unknown, there are several factors that are thought to contribute to the development of mental health issues in men. These include:
biological factors, such as genetic predisposition and hormone levels
psychological factors, such as stress and anxiety
social factors, such as isolation and economic hardship
The Warning Signs of Men's Mental Health Issues
When it comes to mental health, there are often warning signs that can be easily missed. It's important to be aware of the signs that may indicate a more serious problem. Here are some warning signs to watch out for:
1. Withdrawal and Isolation from friends and family
Your loved one may isolate or withdraw themselves when depressed, perhaps because of feelings of embarrassment or a burden to others. He may also feel like he can't cope with his depression and that isolating himself is the only way to deal with it. Additionally, he may believe that no one understands what he's going through or that no one can help him. Whatever the reason, withdrawing and isolating oneself can make depression worse.
2. Strange or out-of-character behaviors
These signs can include:
Acting impulsively, recklessly, or irrationally
Difficulty functioning in everyday life (at work, school, or in his personal life)
Difficulty concentrating on tasks, making decisions, or handling stress
Sudden excessive drinking, drug use, mood swings, outbursts of anger
Changes in eating or sleeping habits
3. He's expressed thoughts of suicide or self-harm.
If a man has expressed thoughts of harming himself or taking his own life, it's a serious sign that he's in a mental health crisis. This is an emergency situation and he needs professional help immediately. If you notice this, it's important to get him to a mental health professional or the emergency room right away.
What to do once you’ve determined that your loved one is struggling with mental health issues?
The good news is that there are a few things you can do to help support someone going through a hard time.
First and foremost, it's important to be there for them as a sounding board and shoulder to cry on. Let them know that you're there for them, no matter what. Just by being a source of love and care, you can make a big difference to someone who is struggling.
Secondly, you can help by doing some research on the topic. There's a lot of information out there on men's mental health, and it can be overwhelming. But if you arm yourself with knowledge, you can be a better support system for your loved one.
Finally, don't be afraid to reach out to professionals for help. If your loved one is struggling, they may need more help than you can provide. Putting them in touch with a therapist or counselor can be a huge help. Be there for them, educate yourself, and don't be afraid to reach out for help.