Poor mental health rates are actively increasing across the globe. While more and more individuals find themselves encountering the signs and symptoms of common mental health conditions, the risks are also greater, fuelling a very misunderstood area of health.
A key area that is still, to this date, ignored and downplayed, until the inevitable happens, is men’s mental health and the common challenges that add weight. Understandably, every diagnosis of mental health issues is heartbreaking and damaging. Yet the challenges that many men face, down to stigmatisation and a lack of awareness, sadly contribute to suicide rates.
Our mental health should be just as important, and just as relevant as our physical wellbeing. Such challenges are avoidable through physical conditions, down to the normalisation of treatment and therapies, and of sourcing help. Yet through the challenges that men face, it makes it impossible to prioritise strong mental health.
If you’re suffering, no matter your gender, we are here for you at Addiction Advocates. Yet, as a man, in a world where weakness is attached to such support, know that this is a damaging misconception, which must be diminished.
Source mental health support, specific and confidential for men through our services.
Does mental health affect men differently?
Mental health, across the board, can be detrimental and extremely challenging to live with, no matter the gender or background of an affected individual. Yet, yes, mental health does affect men differently than women, down to the challenges that they face.
It’s found that although more women attempt suicide through mental health struggles, death by suicide rates are three times greater in men. Homelessness, residential sectioning, drug abuse, prison sentences and missing person concerns are all also higher in men, in comparison to women, evidently supporting how a reduced quality of life is found for men through mental health issues.
The greatest difference here is that men find it harder to open up when considering their mental health, down to the masculine and stable stereotype which is attached to their gender. Only 36% of mental health referrals are represented by men, showcasing how challenging opening up and accepting support is.
Such mental health challenges are defined by common misconceptions, a lack of confidence in our healthcare systems, and the taboo subject that mental health conditions and recovery efforts have become in our society. Yet, through these challenges, more men are suffering from common mental health conditions, such as PTSD and depression, making an existing crisis even harder to tackle.
Here’s the concern over men’s mental health and the common challenges that continue to increase the risks of suicide and suffering.
Men’s mental health and the common challenges
There are some common challenges that contribute to the struggle that mental health issues cause many men across the world. Here are some of the most damaging, which are driving a clear gap between genders.
There’s such a taboo around poor mental health. Those who open up feel stigmatised, down to the negative imagery surrounding mental health conditions. This is particularly key for men, as a widespread stereotype is present, where men should be brave, strong, insensitive, and stable. While this stereotype can describe some traits of men, it also disregards the human in the gender, where emotion, sensitivity and struggle are all normal.
One of the key challenges, therefore, surrounds the judgment of others, playing a very damaging role in men’s mental health. Due to the risk of judgment, men who are suffering are less likely to reach out for support, instead of aggravating their symptoms.
This is extremely sad, as the taboo subject is much less through women’s eyes, making it easier to share emotions and feelings. However, if displayed through the male perception, stigmatisation is instead replacing the helping hand of support.
Increased risks of suicide
A further concern through men’s mental health and the common challenges is that suicide rates are so much higher in men, down to the lack of empathy and guidance that they have.
Suicide is normally seen as a last resort, as an action that will alleviate such struggles. While it may for the individual, it however will continue such struggles for loved ones, and for others with mental health vulnerabilities.
Suicide isn’t an easy way out, yet this isn’t vocalised to the male gender, who instead are found to take their own lives, standing as the key cause for death under the age of 50.
Mental health issues are also found to be misunderstood by many men, where some find it hard to spot the signs of common conditions within themselves. Whether this is a lack of awareness, is linked to emotional disconnect, or is fed through denial, with the attempt to protect oneself and others from judgment, there are many dangers linked to such involuntary ignorance.
Through these challenges, identifying, understanding, and vocalising mental health worries are much harder for men, instead of contributing to the damaging effects of mental health issues; including homelessness, substance abuse, crime, and suicide.
Common mental health conditions in men
The most common mental health conditions in men include social anxieties, depression, bipolar, PTSD, SAD, and addiction.
While many of the above conditions in fact impact women more, they carry greater long-term effects for men, down to the challenges that they face. For example, social anxiety is in fact found to be higher in women, yet due to their ability and confidence in reaching out, symptoms can be dealt with efficiently. Yet, in men, such symptoms are ignored or overlooked, down to the risks of judgment, increasing the weight of anxiety in men.
Two mental health conditions that are higher in men from diagnoses rates are PTSD and addiction, down to the increased risks of trauma, found within the male lifestyle. Through trauma, relying on the likes of drugs, alcohol and gambling is a greater risk, also carrying the concerns of dual diagnosis.
Through such realisation, it’s clear to see how many men could overcome common mental health issues, if greater awareness and support was available. Yet currently, they are suffering beyond women, through the common misconceptions and risks.
Signs and symptoms of mental health challenges
If you’re reading our blog here at Addiction Advocates, worried about your own mental health, it is important to be aware of common signs and symptoms. While they can range significantly across mental health conditions, key changes in behaviours, physical health and psychological activity are indicators of mental health risks.
- Feeling low on a consistent, unjustifiable basis
- Experiencing increased anxiety
- Experiencing flashbacks or nightmares linked to trauma
- Displaying negative behaviours, thoughts, and actions
- Feeling a lack of control over your emotions
- Using unhealthy coping strategies, such as drugs
- Contemplating suicide or attempting suicide
- Feeling hopeless with reduce self-esteem
- Experiencing changes to personality, such as aggression and irrational outlooks
- Behaving compulsively
- Encountering physical health symptoms through increased pressure
- Experiencing negative issues to life, down to mental health symptoms
Men’s mental health issues can be displayed through the above, which if you’re personally experiencing any changes, which are deterring your life, it’s time to rise above the challenges.
Seeing treatments and therapies as a positive step
Mental health treatment is available, on a confidential basis to support you. It should be viewed as a positive step, as opening up can significantly improve your symptoms, offer clarity, and help to reduce the weight that your worries are inducing.
Through rehab, treatments, and therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy and counselling can be completed, alleviate mental health risks. Please be aware that support is available to you, no matter your gender or symptoms.
It’s very sad to think that men feel the need to hide their emotions, down to an idea and stereotype developed over the years. Yet such an unrealistic image is now causing turbulent times for men especially.
Men’s mental health and the common challenges deserve greater awareness, which we’re here to promote at Addiction Advocates. If you’re struggling, please be reassured that opening up will be the best step you take, through a non-judgmental, private platform.