Reading Time:

Reading Time: 5 minutes

If you get injured or suddenly feel a stabbing chest pain the first thought that comes to your mind is to get medical help. Unfortunately, we still can’t say the same for mental health problems, especially for men.

While mental illness affects both men and women, the prevalence in men is often lower than in women. Men are also less likely to receive mental health treatment. However, men died by suicide 3.63 times more often than women. So, the real question is: are men truly experiencing fewer mental health problems, or are they less likely to talk about them and seek help?

Many men have already started to take better care of their physical health, paying more attention to eating habits, exercising. But, when it comes to their mental health, too many men still struggle. This may be due to the still very much alive stigma around mental health, allied with the pressure for men to be tough and strong.

These gender roles and misconceptions tend to be passed on from a very young age. For example, in some families showing vulnerability or crying may be frowned upon. So, as a boy, you may be told to “man up” or “act like a man”. As a result, you might feel the urge to hide your negative emotions and feel ashamed of seeking psychological help.

Anxiety and Depression in Men

Men Mental Issues | New Connections Counseling Center at Baltimore, MDMen and women tend to experience depression and anxiety in different ways. Research shows that men are more likely to feel angry or aggressive. They are also more likely to turn to alcohol and substance abuse.

These signs differ a bit from what we usually associate with anxiety and depression. So they can be harder to recognize and even diagnose, especially during the early stages of the conditions. Thus, men might miss out on getting help to cope with these symptoms.

Some people still believe it’s weak to admit you’re going through a tough time. But when you are struggling with anxiety or depression, you can’t just “snap out of it” by yourself. You need to talk with a professional that can help you. Opening up and being honest about how you feel doesn’t make you weak, on the contrary, it is an act of courage.

So, if you are concerned about your mental health or about a loved one, check out our 5 reasons for men to take care of their mental health.

5 Reasons Why Men Should Take Care of Their Mental Health

1. Even if you can’t see it, it is very real

Men Mental Health Problems | New Connections Counseling Center at Baltimore, MDWhile mental disorders are usually not visible, they are very real and can be dangerous, if not properly treated. Anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems can lead to high blood pressure, weaker immune systems, stomach issues, chronic fatigue, changes in weight, substance abuse, and even suicide.

Mental health problems don’t just vanish on their own or go away like the common cold. On the contrary, they tend to get worse over time. So, if you recognize any signs or symptoms look for a mental health professional.

2. Fight the stigma and shame

Research tells us that men are significantly less likely to resort to mental health services than women in the face of a mental illness. The reasons for such under-utilization could be associated with stigmatization, fear of judgment, or feeling the pressure to behave “like a man”.

Conditions such as anxiety and depression are increasingly common, and they don’t discriminate in terms of sex, race, religion, they can happen to anyone. So, the best way we can cope and fight the stigma around them is by talking about it, educating ourselves, and learning how we can make mental health a priority.

3. You can recover

Men intimacy issues | New Connections Counseling Center at Baltimore, MDNo matter how bad you may be feeling, how lost and hopeless you may be right now, know that you can get better. Nowadays, there are many treatment options when it comes to mental health, including different forms of psychotherapy.

So, there is good news: the sooner you start therapy – this means before the symptoms severely limit your ability to function or engage in your day-to-day life -, and with the right treatment, the better chances you have to recover and get back the control of your life.

4. Lead by example

Acknowledging to others, and even to yourself, that you are struggling can be really difficult. However, ignoring, suppressing, or masking your pain with unhealthy behavior will only worsen the negative emotions.

Keep in mind that your experience dealing with these issues can inspire others to do the same thing. By taking care of yourself you can also be helping others.

5. You can ask for help

Whatever you do, just know you can ask for help. You don’t have to go through it alone, you don’t have to suffer in silence or toughen up. Talk to someone you trust, a close friend, a family member, a mental health professional, or a family doctor.

Talking with others about how you are feeling and how it is affecting you can foster empathy and support, which can help you cast away feelings of isolation and despair, on which mental health issues and addiction can thrive.

Men’s Therapy in Baltimore, MD

Men's Therapy | New Connections Counseling Center at Baltimore, MDHave you been feeling sad, angry, or irritable? Do you struggle with controlling negative emotions? Starting therapy is a big step. A courageous one!

At New Connections Counseling Center, our therapists will provide you with a safe and non-judgmental space to work through your personal and relationship issues, and thrive!

Spread the love
Was this article helpful?

About the Author:

Cathy Sullivan-Windt

Psychologist (Ph.D.) & Owner

Cathy is a licensed counseling psychologist with almost 20 years of experience. She specializes in women’s counseling, anxiety treatment, sexual assault recovery, life transitions, and relationship issues.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time in nature, traveling, reading, and being with her family and friends.

Read More About Cathy

Join Our Newsletter

Get connected with tips and updates from our therapists.

* indicates required
Are you a mental health professional?